Today we talk again about Mobile World Congress, the conference on the new technologies related to mobile that was held last week in Barcelona, and this time we do so to talk about Epson’s new headset, Moverio BT-300.

The first version of Moverio dates back to five years ago, when things in the augmented reality world were pretty different, and in fact the viewer was not comfortable to wear; then we saw the second generation of the device, the Moverio BT-200, less bulky, but still a bit heavy.

The prototype presented at MWC, instead, is a pretty enhanced version: as first thing, it is 72% lighter than the previous model. The device features a 0.43-inch Silicon OLED HD display with 1280×720 pixels resolution and is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom X5 processor and runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system. The smart glasses also come equipped with a 5MP camera. Processor and controls are included inside a little box, that works as controller with some Android-based buttons.

Moverio, on the opposite of Google Glass, is a device created from the beginning thinking about the business field and not the consumer market; this version follows the same path and through it augmented reality will be helping mostly workers. Another of its applications seem will be the control of drones: drones operators at the moment have to control their devices mostly with smartphone apps; useless to say that this is not the most comfortable way. Moverio BT-300 will make possible to control them through smart glasses, with commands overlayed to reality, directly in front of the operator’s eyes.

Epson BT-300 is available for pre-order from company’s website priced at $799 and the shipping will begin later this year.

HoloLens: new details and some disappointment

Microsoft HoloLens continues to be on everyone’s lips: the famous augmented reality headset is about to be launched on the market (there isn’t yet a precise date, but it seems that the developer version will be available soon) and little by little details and news are unveiled.

Some news came from the speech in Tel Aviv by Bruce Harris, Microsoft’s Technical Evangelist. Here’s the video:

In this speech, Harris revealed four important details about HoloLens, and unluckily some of them left a bit of disappointment.

The first one is about the battery: its autonomy will be around 5 hours and an half, 2 and an half in case of massive use of the headset. This is way less than what users were expecting, still anyway you can definitely recharge it between games or work sessions.

The second detail is about the field of view: augmented reality fans heard with some disappointment that the experience of wearing and using HoloLens is comparable to having a 15-inch monitor about a foot away from one’s face. This, still being impressive, is still less than expected.

The third detail, on the opposite, was largely appreciated by the future users: one of the nightmares of augmented reality headsets fans is having to wear devices that are uncomfortable and, even worse, full of wires and cables. HoloLens doesn’t need them, because it will be connected via Wi-fi and Bluetooth to the internet and to other devices.

The fourth and last detail is about Microsoft: HoloLens will natively support all Windows 10 apps, making it possible to use it as you would use a laptop.

Developers, are you curious to finally experience HoloLens live, so much that you can’t wait the official release on the market? Microsoft has an awesome surprise for you…if you can travel to New York!

In its shop in the Big Apple, in fact, it is possible to try the famous headset, taking home with you the unique experience of seeing a preview of a little piece of the future! After the tour, started in New York and then continued around 11 cities in the U.S., HoloLens finally stopped in the Big Apple and it will remain there for an unknown, surely longer than before, period. This will make possible to try the device before the launch on the market, expected for the first Q of 2016 in the developer version.

The developers who will be able to get one of the inviations and to enter the long waiting list, will have the possibility of visiting the store to watch a video about the device, but most of all to experience a live test of the headset; they will see HoloLens in action on three demo: a game one, in which you shoot hologram alien robots in front of you, one is a demonstration of the technology’s potential in presentations and sales using a luxury watch as an example, and the third one highlights HoloLens’ graphical and editing capabilities.

The idea at the back of the showroom is to help the developers starting to know better and become familiar with the headset, so when they will finally receive the version in 2016 they already had a taste of it.

Talking about the shop in New York, Alex Kipman, Microsoft spokesperson, said: “In New York, developers will get a taste of how HoloLens can enable new ways for people to communicate, create, work and play”.

Those who won’t be able to reach New York or that will not enter the test list, will have to wait few time anyway: it’s only a question of months.

After the augmented tour that helped us discover ancient Rome and its Imperial Forums, Italy’s capital decided to surprise us again creating an amazing initiative featuring once more augmented reality.

This time is the turn of Ara Pacis, that will have back its original colors with tridimensional lights to make the tourists revive the history of the ancient altar that the Emperor Augustus dedicated to peace.

Wearing headsets for augmented reality and headphones, the visitors will live an engaging and immersive experience: they will be able to attend a show made of colors and 3D lights, reviving the atmosphere and the beauty of the monument in all its ancient magnificence; at the same time they will listen to the story of Ara Pacis through an audio document available in five different languages.

Giovanna Marinelli, Assessor of Culture in Rome, said:

“Since soon there will be Jubilee, we studied a new project to give value to our cultural heritage. We thought Ara Pacis was perfect since last year, illuminated and colored, had an extraordinary success among the public. In that occasion was made a 3D model of the altar on which, following philological and historical parameters, was affixed the original color and this permitted us to recreate the original polychromy without risks for the conservation. This year we thought to go beyond and to give visitors a more engaging experience thanks to augmented reality and last generation glasses.”

Augmented reality applied to tourism is a growing trend, and this is why Experenti thought to different solutions that can transform museums, cities, artworks in exciting cultural experiences; do you want to know how?

Have a look to the magic solutions we can create to transform your touristic and cultural tours in a Wow experience!

The saga about the development of one of the most applauded and waited headset of these years is continuing: as probably you understood we are talking of Microsoft’s HoloLens, that from revelation to revelation doesn’t stop teasing the curiosity of augmented reality’s fans.

Between developer’s versions and consumer’s market release hypothesis, finally it seems that the development team wanted to make a bit of clarity talking about the future of this device at the Salesforce Dreamforce Conference Q&A where Satya Nadella, CEO of the project, talked.

Unluckily all those that, after the news of HoloLens working with Windows 10, thought the release was coming shortly will have to change their minds: the device, at least for the consumer market, will not be released so soon, since Nadella said that he imagines the full development of the gadget as “really a five-year journey.” It is sure, on the other hand, that in 2016 will be available the developer version.

With this kind of communiqué, it is clear how Microsoft is aiming to release the best HoloLens version possible, and this, of course, needs a certain amount of work, tests and time. Other than the news about videogames and applications linked to culture and study, one of HoloLens goals is surely to be used in the business world; knowing this, it’s clear why they don’t want to release in the market just a prototype, as it is at the moment since the version presented in April had problems with commands recognizing and some glitches. Nadella and his Team seem to know very good the high potential of a project like this: “it is such a different type of computer, and the industrial and enterprise scenarios are huge”, and surely it is worth to invest in it to make it the better possible.

Bicycle fans, here is a big news for you: on Indiegogo has been launched the campaign to crowdfund a new augmented reality headset dedicated to enhance cycling experience!

Its name is Senth IN1, it comes from China and in just a month it almost reached the set goal of $40.000 for its campaing, but the project is older than this: Li Jiwen, engineer with a passion for cycling, and his crew at InSenth started working on the smart cycling glasses in late 2012 and from then they wanted to create a headset giving a new, incredible experience through augmented reality.

On Indiegogo we can read the creator’s words: “I love cycling. Some experience can only be achieved on the bike. I want to share what I see with my friends, access my real-time cycling data, interact with bikers to make my journey more exciting. Now we make it reality. You can do all these things during cycling. We are always on the ways and never stop!”

The concept at the base of this new headset is easy: the device is based on augmented reality and communicates with Android and iOS smartphones via Bluetooth technology, so the bikers are able to receive and make calls while riding and also to have in front of their eyes all kind of useful information like ride data (current speed, distance traveled, calories burned, etc), other users nearby, routes, and warnings of oncoming vehicles. Not just this: Senth IN1 can be used also to record video or take pictures without using the hands. It could be defined as a Google Glass for cycling, since like in the Google’s product a small transparent video image is projected in the lower corner of the user’s field of view; the user can communicate with the headset through remote, head movement, a little touchpad on the side of the glasses or voice command. Last but not least: it is completely waterproof.

This headset will probably be the dream of many cycling fans; to know something more watch the video below:

There’s nothing to say: Microsoft’s augmented reality headset, the famous HoloLens, knows how to make people talk. After the demonstration at gamers’ conference, during which Microsoft showed us the future of Minecraft when implemented with augmented reality, we passed directly to the collaboration with NASA and the space missions. In fact, as already said in a previous post, HoloLens will be used on the ISS, the International Space Station, to help astronauts especially for solving technical issues; in particular it will be used in the missions to Mars, where, since of the distance, the communication are delayed (up to 24 minutes!) and this could create complications in case of malfunctioning.

A HoloLens headset would have reached already the International Space Station, but unluckily it was destroyed in the explosion of the Dragon spacecraft the 28th June. Anyway, even if not in space, the device is being tested: part of the equipment to test, in fact, was destined to be tried underwater, in the NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) station, operative 45 feet (17 meters) underwater off the coast of Key Largo, Florida.

This month NEEMO will house four “waternauts” for 14 days: the captain of the mission, Luca Parmitano (a veteran of Expeditions 36-37 in 2013), never-flown astronauts Serena Auñón (NASA) and Norishige Kanai (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and David Coan, NASA EVA management office engineer. Two technicians, who are also professional divers, live with them in the habitat to run the facility. The mission, started the 20th July, will test some equipment (between which a HoloLens headset and a second headset from another manufacturer) in a extreme environment, similar to the space one, and will help the astronauts getting used to the gravity conditions on asteroids (very low) and on Mars (about 1/3 of Earth gravity).

“We can learn about interaction between crewmembers and the ground control,” Parmitano said of the mission in a televised interview on NASA Television. “We can learn about procedures and ways to make our work effective.”

Sembra che finalmente il dispositivo che ogni fan di Google Glass stava aspettando sia tra le nostre mani, ma non è stato Google a crearlo: lo hanno progettato invece alcuni ricercatori scientifici del National Physical Laboratory in UK in collaborazione con l’azienda Colour Holographic, ed il concept è sbalorditivo.

Come nei Google Glass, il dispositivo si fissa a lato degli occhiali di chi lo indossa, e anche per questo i ricercatori dicono che vorrebbero venisse usato da chiunque, dai chirurghi ai vigili del fuoco, e che possa aiutare le persone a migliorare in qualsiasi professione attraverso l’uso della realtà aumentata.

Comunque vi sono alcune sostanziali differenze tra questo dispositivo e quello di Big G, la più importante delle quali è che con questo prototipo non si è costretti a guardare in alto per vedere lo schermo:

“Normalmente quando vogliamo vedere qualcosa dai nostri telefoni o computer, abbiamo bisogno di uno schermo sul quale posare gli occhi. Ma in questo modo, possiamo evitare lo schermo ed avere l’immagine proiettata direttamente dentro i nostri occhiali e nel nostro occhio” ha detto John Nunn, uno di ricercatori che stanno lavorando a questo progetto durante un’intervista con Motherboard.

Infatti, il dispositivo sovrappone immagini trasparenti a quel che chi lo indossa sta vedendo, e lo fa tramite una tecnologia basata sugli ologrammi. Pensate a quanto questo possa essere utile per migliorare tanti aspetti delle nostre vite, da quelli più comuni a quelli speciali, legati a problemi alla vista, per esempio; Manuel Ulibarrena, R & D Manager di Colour Holographic, ha dichiarato: “Se stai camminando per la strada, invece di guardare lo schermo del tuo telefono puoi vedere una mappa trasparente con le indicazioni di dove stai andando e come raggiungere la tua meta.”

Il prototipo del NPL comprende un micro display, una lente, una lastra di vetro e fenditure olografiche ad ogni lato della lastra. Quando la persona indossa il device, un ologramma distorce di 90° le parti luminose rosse, verdi e blu, e così la luce si riflette sul vetro ed arriva sull’occhio. A quel punto un secondo ologramma distorce la luce nuovamente, rendendola visibile all’occhio umano.

Per adesso, come già detto, si tratta solo di un prototipo, ma presto potrebbe diventare il visore che stavamo tutti aspettando.

It seems that finally we have the device that every Google Glass fan wanted, but it wasn’t Google creating it: some research scientists at the National Physical Laboratory in the U.K. in collaboration with manufacturer Colour Holographic did, and the concept looks awesome.

Like it is for Google Glass, this device clips on a side of the wearer’s glasses and the creators claim that it suits to be used by everyone, from surgeons to firefighters, helping men to become enhanced in any profession they do through augmented reality.

There are anyway some big differences between this wearable and the Big G product, the most important of which is the fact that with this prototype you don’t have to look up to see the screen:

“Normally when we want to see things from our phones or our computers, we need a screen to look at. But this way, we could do away with a screen and just have the image projected directly into our glasses and into our eye,” said John Nunn, one of the research scientists that are working on this project in an interview with Motherboard.

In fact, the device overlays transparent images over what the wearer is already seeing, with a technology based on holograms. Think about how much this could be useful for enhancing many aspects of our lives, from the most common to the special ones; Manuel Ulibarrena, R&D Manager at Colour Holographic, said, “If you’re walking down the street, instead of looking at your mobile you can see a transparent map of where you are going with arrows and directions showing where you want to go.”

The NPL’s prototype comprises a micro-display, a lens, a glass plate and holographic glass slitters inside each end of the glass plate. As the user wears the device, a hologram bends the red, green and blue parts of light by 90 degrees which causes the light to reflect inside the glass and to travel over the wearer’s eye. Another hologram then bends the light again so that it is visible to the human eye.

For now, as we said, it is just a prototype, but soon it could become the headset we were all waiting for.

Microsoft’s HoloLens reaches the augmented reality news again, this time taking us to space.

The famous headset will be used to help NASA Astronauts during the missions out of Earth: they will test the gadget straight away aboard the International Space Station as part of Project Sidekick, a project that will enhance astronauts work and life, especially in the fields of training and task efficiency, through the availability of assistance when and where they need it.

HoloLens, infact, used in “Remote Expert Mode”, will make it possible to connect an expert on Earth via Skype with the wearer: the controller will see what the astronaut is seeing and so will be able to help with maintenance and problems. Since in space the connection isn’t always at its best and often delayed , the headset will also operate in “Procedure Mode”, with local instructions and videos that will help solve the main problems immediately.

“HoloLens and other virtual and mixed reality devices are cutting edge technologies that could help drive future exploration and provide new capabilities to the men and women conducting critical science on the International Space Station,” Sam Scimemi, director of the ISS program, said in a statement. “This new technology could also empower future explorers requiring greater autonomy on the journey to Mars.”

Microsoft HoloLens will be tested in two different times and modalities:

– one headset has just departed June 28, with the SpaceX’s seventh commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station; the astronauts will be able to try it and see its potentialities.

– HoloLens will be tested also during NEEMO (Extreme Environment Mission Operations) expedition 20, starting July 21, where they will be tried for two weeks in the world’s only undersea research station, Aquarius, by a team of astronauts and engineers.

Here you can see the first tests of the Sidekick Project: