What's new in the world of augmented reality? Retina resolution VR headset, sci-fi miniature motion controller and mixed reality madness in this week of AR.
Many of the downfalls in the VR takeover have come down to how it all feels much more virtual than real. Graphics and screen resolution often not being the quality we have been accustomed to, just ends up breaking the illusion. Now Finnish Varjo has released a headset Varjo VR-1 with retina resolution meaning you can’t see the pixels, making it look “real”. No pixel grid, no jagged lines, no screen-door effect. No other headset having done this before, Varjo has set a new standard for VR headset, one we can all agree upon has been long-awaited. The other special feature of the VR-1 is eye tracking. It accurately follows your gaze and acts similar to a mouse cursor.
Although the headset comes at a hefty price of many thousands as well as a yearly license fee, for those who have tried it out are it has been hard not wanting to use anything else. Setting the standard if nothing else, one may hope this lights that something spark VR seems to have been missing.
The blend of VR and AR is often referred to as mixed reality. In this case, a developer has used VR to build AR experiences, mimicking real-world physics and blurring the line between the digital and reality one step further. Lee Vermeulen, a Toronto-based developer and creator of the Oculus VR headset back in 2015, has recently been posting videos of AR experiences that explore how fluid physics, radial gravity, trajectory prediction, mirrors, and soft body physics could exist virtually in the real-world in a way that looks and acts realistically. Basically, AR objects reacting to real-world objects and making them look real. The reason for using a VR device to create this is that AR devices out there do not offer enough the same control VR does. Getting more people excited about AR means faster development. So a mixed reality headset on the horizon then or how about a relevant motion controller? Let’s just hope this accelerates AR development.
Speaking of AR gadgets, a new motion controller for both AR and VR devices is set to launch at the end of the year. The device that fits between your index and middle finger look like futuristic brass knuckles and combines motion-control capabilities and haptic feedback so you can use it to point, swipe and tap and combinations of these. The device, aimed at being used in connection with smartphone AR apps, is first to be released for developers and soon after for us mere mortals, hopefully gaining traction and interest until this moment comes.
The family classic has now gone AR with instead of drawing on a whiteboard or plain paper, they are done in the air and displayed real-time through your phone, tablet or TV screen instead. The drawing can be recorded and shared with friends on social media, all-in-all giving the game that modern update many other classic board games are trying to achieve.
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