The latest in AR and immersive tech brings us an immersive experience in the Amazon rainforest, AR helping map and size up any and all trees, another haptic advance broadening the playing field of controllers, as well as the release of the Microsoft MR headset, Hololens 2.
A game-changer on the forest market has entered with Swedish Katam. The company and their smartphone app challenges old and manual measuring methods by scanning forest and trees and providing not only tree length and width, but also the volume, diameter and density of a tree; these coupled with their drone photography solution that maps every single tree, now every single part of a forest can be marked, surveilled and taken care of.
The long-awaited Hololens 2 mixed reality headset will go on sale in the upcoming month. The headset, first revealed back in February at the Mobile World Congress has improved on the previous technical, visual, and functional aspects of Hololens 1 making it much more comfortable device for everyday usage, meaning Microsoft is aiming this headset at the masses.
Many of the latest haptic advancements have focused on giving digital objects their shape or feel through haptic gloves and other devices aimed at haptic feedback for fingers and hands. The latest haptic controller uses a trackpad, which the thumb is placed on, and the device hooks up to your two first fingers, letting you squeeze a digital object, move and rotate it. The trackpad or the thumbpad is also able to simulate textures when moving it. Still, only at the prototype phase, it showcases a different way of interacting with digital objects than other current controllers in use. Although at first glance, it might seem bulky, it may be one step in having a variety of controllers available for users, all fitting a different purpose or need.
Time magazine has launched an AR experience called Inside the Amazon: The Dying Forest. The experience works as a journalistic piece, featuring detailed 3D scans of the forest taken by high-def cameras mounted on drones, along with a piece showing and telling you what the forest would look like all dried out or the how the forest could become the trigger of runaway global warming. Inside the Amazon uses spatial sound design to for you to fully immerse yourself in the jungle and its sounds, truly bringing depth to journalism, creating a more personalized experience that can foster empathy and emotion to important issues like climate change. The experience ignites through the cover of the mid-September issue of Times, 2019.
Augmented reality was used to enhance murals in Darwin, Australia, a city launching a series of cultural initiatives and encourages finding new ways to be creative. The murals and AR were created in connection with a street art festival. When scanned, the murals come to life as huge animated 3D objects, whichever the motive, engaging passers-by with animals larger than life. The murals already big to start with, get a whole new dimension as they come to life. A great example of using augmented reality to get people to stop and engage with art, creating a memorable experience, both for inhabitants as well as tourists.
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