TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Microsoft started 2015 with a bang, announcing its HoloLens augmented reality headset - providing wearers the chance to enjoy their physical world blended with digital features.
There is great potential for HoloLens to be used for gaming, entertainment, workplace functionality, and many other uses - but some have wondered if Microsoft planned to focus on AR and ignore the rising popularity of VR.
"I don't think we've locked ourselves out [of virtual reality]," said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, in a statement to Eurogamer. "We've looked at a mixed reality space that we could do with HoloLens and think about it as a unique set of features and technologies to enable, that doesn't preclude us from doing anything in the VR space either from a first-party or partnership prospective. I've used Morpheus, I've used Oculus, I'm going to see more of the demos here."
Count Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as a fan of the HoloLens technology Microsoft recently showed off, though said it will take a few years of development. Speaking during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" chat, this marked the first public statement Gates had regarding the emerging technology.
"The HoloLens is pretty amazing," Gates recently said. "Microsoft has put a lot into the chips and the software. It is the start of virtual reality. Making the device so you don't get dizzy or nauseous is really hard - the speed of the alignment has to be super, super fast. It will take a few years of software applications being built to realize the full promise of this."
Both augmented reality and virtual reality have seen numerous breakthroughs in recent years, but there are a number of challenges both technologies face. Microsoft says there is nothing like HoloLens currently available, and the headset won't directly compete with Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus or other VR headsets being developed.
Augmented reality has recently shown great promise for consumer and commercial use, but there is an overlooked industry that could help spur additional interest: medical research. Software and hardware designers hope that offering custom solutions to certain verticals will help accelerate the familiarity of augmented reality as something more than a niche consumer offering.
Technologies such as the Eyes-On Glass gives nurses and doctors the unique view of a vascular anatomy, leading to more comfortable medical care for patients. However, there are a number of other options presenting great potential solutions that can be used in the near future:
"In two to five years, the definition of augmented reality is going to extend," said Helen Papagiannis, augmented reality specialist, in a statement to Daily Dot. "We're not going to be calling it augmented reality anymore, it really will just be reality. It will be a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, all coming together."
Microsoft publicly unveiled the Windows Holographic and its HoloLens augmented reality headset - and every Windows 10 device will have holographic user interface support.
The HoloLens headset utilizes an onboard CPU and GPU, with a processing chip custom engineered to support augmented reality. In addition to being able to visually see the augmented reality environment, the HoloLens has a speaker unit providing another level of interactivity.
"Holographic computing enabled by Windows 10 is here," said Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft, during a Windows 10 event at its Redmond office. "Oculus, Magic Leap, Glass developers, and everyone else - we humbly invite you to come create Holograms with us."
CES 2015 - Gesture-based specialist eyeSight is demoing its singlecue gesture-based control system during CES 2015. The device is able to support Infrared controlled electronics, including HDTVs, cable and satellite boxes, Blu-ray players, and AV receivers.
When implemented, singlecue connects a user's IR and Wi-Fi devices and brings them to a single interface, opening the door to gesture recognition technology.
"Since launching, we've heard from people around the globe that they can't wait for singlecue to enter their homes and completely change the way they interact with their favorite devices," said Gideon Shmuel, eyeSight CEO. "We look forward to fulfilling this promise and bringing gesture recognition, the Internet of Things [IoT] and smart home control to everyone under the singlecue brand."
CES 2015 - Six15 Technologies has introduced a new wearable headset designed for heads-up data delivery and text messaging during CES 2015. The glasses allow wearers to maintain their situational awareness while out and about, because they don't need to look down at a mobile device.
The new glasses connect to a device via Bluetooth and have a built-in rechargeable battery that provides up to 1,500 text messages sent and received during one battery charge. Six15 will release thermal and visible cameras for the headset, designed to assist in using business applications.
"Our glasses are a more realistic and less obtrusive application to wearable tech and head-mounted displays, unlike other devices currently in the market that have struggled to go mainstream," said Rich Ryan, CEO of Six15 Technologies. "Merging some of the capabilities we have delivered to defense customers with some of the key attributes of the consumer market, our new device is a testament to how advanced technologies can provide solutions to a wide range of problems from everyday issues, to safety in a warehouse, to critical medical data in an ER, to GPS displays for first responders."
CES 2015 - Augmented reality display maker Seebright has unveiled the Wave head-mounted display (HMD) system that turns an Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphone into see-through augmented reality displays.
Once live on Kickstarter, Seebright will also include a 9-axis, 3D-visually tracked motion controller, so users are able to easily use AR applications. The platform will hit Kickstarter in February.
During CES, expect to see Seebright showcase its Seebright SDK with WebGL and Unity3D, in an effort to appeal to interested AR developers.
Samsung's Gear VR headset is now available for purchase in the US, for $199. The Gear VR had Samsung and Oculus VR, the makers of the Oculus Rift, collaborating together. One thing that the Gear VR does differently, is that it requires Samsung's flagship Galaxy Note 4 smartphone in order to work.
Coined as the "Innovator Edition", Samsung are confidently displaying this fact on their purchase page with reports claiming as the customer you must agree you understand that this is a "device targeted specifically to developers or early adopters of technology." It's not too big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, just a precaution put in place by Samsung to cover their back should anything go wrong.
Last seen at IFA 2014, news outlets reported very positively of this new device besides the fact that it needs a Note 4 for operation. It's a little disappointing that you need to tie this up with another Samsung product for use, especially when compared with the Oculus or 3D HEAD that are both said to be operable without any added features.
Warner Bros and DC Entertainment are making the virtual reality version of the Batcave so that you can check out Batman's underground crib in VR, with the help of the Oculus Rift.
The Dark Knight's VR Batcave is based on classic '90s cartoon series called 'Batman: the Animated Series'. The VR interaction will also be made compatible with other VR devices along with Oculus Rift. The company that will be responsible for this project is Otoy, but the series' original producer Bruce Timm is also involved in the project.
Warner Bros' Sam Register said "We are continuously exploring new and exciting ways to tell stories and share experiences with audiences around the globe, and we're excited to be working with Otoy on this cutting-edge adaptation from Batman: The Animated Series". He continued, "More to the point: It's super-cool, eye-popping stuff, and fans are going to love it. We can't wait for them to have the chance to see the Batcave from the show again - for the very first time."
VIA has installed two interactive digital signs for advertising use into two busy bus stops in Taipei, Taiwan. Toyota teamed up with VIA to advertise their latest Yaris vehicle, using an augmented reality advertisement, shown below.
The interactive signage works by using two video cameras streaming live footage of the intersection in front of it, onto the screens, and once someone walks past it within range of the built-in motion detector, the Yaris advertisement is played over the top of the live stream. The two ads are now live in Taiwan, with the first at the Dunhua-Nanjing bus stop in front of Asia World, and down the street at the Bade-Nanjing stop.