What's new in immersive tech as of late? Low-cost solution for enterprise AR, hyper-realistic volumetric capture from Google and tech giants Adobe and Facebook investing in VR gaming and 3D creation.
Chinese company Nreal and their lightweight mixed-reality glasses the Nreal Light, have demonstrated a prototype remote field service app called AR FieldAdvisor. The app is built in partnership with US telecommunications company Qualcomm and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom.
The app enables Nreal Light users to stream what they see to remote experts, explaining the problem, who then, in turn, can add virtual notes or other objects and data and share it directly with the user in real-time. While the app is already a standard for enterprise AR, it is new for Nreal, who has primarily marketed their products as consumer-grade AR smart glasses. This is important since Nreal will be offering enterprise solutions to the fraction of the cost the Hololens 2 or the Magic Leap One.
In combination with 5G speed, this will continue to pave the way for enterprise AR.
With realistic volumetric video capture becoming all the rage, Google’s team have devised a system consisting of 330 programmable LED lights and 100 cameras mounted on a spherical cage. Within this system, the cameras operate as depth sensors as well as the alternating flashes of two different colour gradients capturing reflectance maps, time-synced to the depth maps making the light easier to manipulate in an AR or VR scene. The team has also created and a geometric and machine learning reconstruction pipeline that creates video from the data captured.
All this creates 3D geometric reconstructions with high-resolution textures, meaning the content can easily be added to a scene without a lot of extra work put in to adapt the lighting — additional realism to the realm of AR making it that much harder to distinguish from reality.
Adobe is spreading out their 3D wings with the acquisition of Oculus Medium, a VR creative tool. Medium is used to easily and quickly create characters, environments and art in 3D for virtual reality. Adobe investing in 3D creation spaces like this one means good things for the near and afar future of creative immersive tech.
For more in VR acquisition we have Facebook purchasing VR game developer Beat Games. The popular studio will join the Oculus Studios team teaming up with Facebook “In the quest to bring VR to more people around the world”. Beat Games is known for innovative and exciting VR games with design, game mechanics and soundtrack adding to the whole, for example Beat Saber as shown in the video below.
An AR app by the New York Times is helping visualise the immense effects of air pollution.
The app lets you experience current pollution levels in the States and around the world, by making the pollution particles visible, showing what microscopic pollution particles would look like floating around you.
NYT using AR to help tell a story and hopefully help push individuals to take air pollution, or pollution in general, more seriously.
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