Since of the last news about Augmented Reality and its developments, it seems that the latest trend passed from mobile to the creation of headsets. If only a week ago we talked about Microsoft and the introduction of Hololens, which joins Oculus Rift and Google Glass, today is BMW’s turn.
The german automotive company, very active in the field of new technology research and the application of that to their cars, announced that they’re projecting a headset similar to Google Glass. It will help drivers parking their car in the best way possible, turning the car’s rear pillars and boot invisible, allowing them to actually see the cars and obstacles in its surroundings. Practically, the headset will connect with little video cameras outside the car and will transmit the images through the lenses, transforming the experience through Augmented Reality.
Even more: the driver will be able to have a lot more information through these lenses. It will be possible to know the shortest path to reach a place, to receive useful information like car speed and speed limits and to continue to use the headset even out of the car. In addition, in line with the company’s effort regarding ecology, the lenses will show even the various ways for reaching a place with public transport.
This isn’t the first time that BMW works on Augmented Reality: some months ago we read the news about a project of an headset that helps the driver in case of a car breakdown; always through Augmented Reality, they would be able to see problem and solution in the lenses, and also the instructions to fix the issue.
It seems, so, that BMW and Augmented Reality are strictly linked. Actually they even have this as the main topic of a section on their site:
Obviously all this intrigues us, but to know more we’ll have to wait until next April: BMW announced that this new technology will be presented at Shangai Auto Show.
Some days ago a new augmented reality headset was added to the famous trio Google Glass, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR: Microsoft, during its worldwide streaming event “Windows 10: Next Chapter”, presented various projects that will be developed in next months. Among the others (not less than Windows 10 and the new Microsoft’s browser) there’s a particular one which is very interesting to us: we are talking about the suite of augmented reality software called Windows Holographic and the related augmented reality headset, named HoloLens.
The Redmond company didn’t use the words “augmented reality” but “holograms”, still we know what that means: this will probably be the yet-missing mainstream AR set. In fact, at the moment Google Glass has just few AR apps, while Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR are more centered on virtual reality. HoloLens seems to be finally a true AR headset, which puts in communication our daily world with the virtual world.
As Microsoft’s Alex Kipman said: “Until now, we’ve immersed ourselves in the world of technology, but what if we could take technology and immerse it in our world?”
Kipman didn’t describe in depth HoloLons technology, but hinted that they are more sophisticated than the other headsets around: e.g. they create the illusion of depth showing to each eye a different plain image. There’s more: first, it seems it will not use markers as e.g. QR codes; second: the headset itself is very close to a pair of normal glasses, so definitely wearable and light (and why not? – even classy).
During the presentation event, Microsoft’s executives Joe Belfiore, Terry Myerson and Alex Kipman showed some examples of everyday use for HoloLens: how to adjust a broken pipe, make a Skype call directly on a wall and also how to build Minecraft buildings anywhere we want. There was also a demo on how to sculpt 3D printable models. These uses open this technology to almost every kind of people, making HoloLens, as we said before, the first mainstream AR headset; we are sure that this new product, with the related software, will be a success.
But this powerful techonology, of course, can be used even on higher levels: in fact, last but not least, Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA is working with Microsoft to see if they can use holograms in scientific research.
It’s not strange, in these times, to read on the web users saying that sci-fi is here. Yes, and it seems it just started.
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