The latest scoop on what's new in AR, so what's new this week? Invisible fashion models, augmented driving assistance and two exciting new comers on the AR glass front.
Nissan has developed a system displaying current or potential obstacles for drivers. With the system only being available through headset and displays in the driver’s field of view, the experience would not be for one in the driver’s seat, but rather in that of the passenger of an autonomous vehicle. With the help of AR, the passengers of self-driving cars would be able to view how the car processes sensing data and visualises it, making the driver feel more at ease during the ride.
This could mark a path for people eventually fully trusting self-driving cars, making the passenger feel part of the ride, with prompts and info of the drive displayed. The system would also generate avatars, real or fictional to keep the passenger company during the trip. AR seems to be on track to be the standard tool for enhancing and facilitating driving and passenger experiences, which is very much fine by us.
A few months back, we mentioned a company called Digilens managing to raise quite the funding for developing lightweight holographic waveguide displays. Among the investors were AR giant Niantic. Well, the end product is now here, Crystal AR glasses prototype, with the first AR glasses to have an almost fully transparent glass, with most AR glasses being tinted. The glasses have a lightweight camera on one lens and a projector on the other, with the holographic waveguide in one of them. The processing happens by connecting to your smartphone or computer with a wire attached to the glasses. They might not be the impressive pair we are looking for, and still not light enough or visually appealing to wear socially, but we are yet again one step closer to those glasses that will add efficiency to any task we take on, extending our capabilities as humans. Now, we wait and see.
Most of AR headsets are not devices you would take out of the house, let alone the room because of its bulkiness and all the wires and accessories it comes with. Founded by a former Magic Leap employee, a company named Nreal, has taken the tech of its' bigger predecessors and created a portable miniature version of it. They look more like sunglasses than regular glasses but are not meant for outside wearing even with their tinted lenses, a typical feature of current AR lenses. They are said to feel bulky and look a bit funny, particularly in comparison to AR glasses like North’s Focals and Google Glass.
Still, compared to Magic Leap one or HoloLens, they are the most normal mixed reality glasses to date. The content is said to look stunningly sharp and colourful with impressive screen technology. Without a lot of apps set to be released along with the glasses in the third quarter of this year, it remains to be seen if the $1,000 price tag is worth the purchase.
Removing the model from the fashion equation might sound like removing the milk when eating cereals, but with virtual catwalks and computer-generated models, it has now been done. Iran’s first fashion & art magazine hosted an event featuring a big screen, a portal, beside the runway leading onto the catwalk where invisible models wearing the showcased clothing strutted their stuff. Could this give the garment the spotlight without the distraction of the model? Or with it being Iran is it just removing the woman from the equation? Up to you to decide, but always as exciting seeing AR applications in the fashion industry, where both clothing and models play a central role.
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