Quali sono le funzionalità principali della Realtà Aumentata?
- Migliora la VISUALIZZAZIONE delle informazioni: fornisce una sorta di visione a raggi X per visualizzare particolari caratteristiche che non sarebbero visibili ad occhio nudo. Questo permette una riduzione degli errori e della richiesta di assistenza tecnica.
- Ridefinisce l’ISTRUZIONE e l’addestramento: riduzione dei costi di formazione ed apprendimento del personale mettendo a disposizione suggerimenti in tempo reale con una modalità interattiva (non come nei video statici). Quindi è possibile anche prestare assistenza tecnica a distanza, riducendo il numero delle visite ripetute.
- Arricchisce l’INTERAZIONE con i prodotti: grazie all’utilizzo di strumenti Smart, è possibile eliminare i controlli fisici dei prodotti (tasti, manopole, …) in favore di un’interfaccia virtuale tramite lo smartphone o il tablet. In questo modo si migliora l’esperienza d’uso del consumatore.
Nonostante sia ancora poco diffusa, la Realtà Aumentata è destinata ad entrare rapidamente nelle nostre abitudini personali e lavorative. Si stima che nel 2020 la spesa in AR sarà superiore ai 60 milioni di dollari. Questa rapida crescita è dovuta al moltiplicarsi di Prodotti Intelligenti ed Interconnessi (Smart Connected Products) soprattutto Smartphone e Tablet, che permettono di utilizzare app che sfruttano questa tecnologia.
Questo innovativo strumento sovrappone dati e immagini digitali al mondo fisico, creando una nuova interfaccia tra esseri umani e macchine. Mettendo le informazioni direttamente nel contesto in cui verranno applicate, l’AR facilita la nostra capacità di recepirle ed utilizzarle.
Come possiamo prendere decisioni che riguardano il mondo reale tridimensionale, quando possiamo interfacciarci solamente con supporti bidimensionali? La grande quantità di informazioni che si riferiscono ai prodotti sono sintetizzate in pagine digitali, limitando la capacita degli individui di scegliere razionalmente. Questo è appunto il principale problema della tecnologia attuale, al quale la Realtà Aumentata (AR) potrebbe dare una soluzione.
Per incrementare la capacità di SIMULAZIONE del mondo fisico, Realtà Aumentata può essere combinata con la Realtà Virtuale (VR) che sostituisce alla realtà fisica un ambiente creato artificialmente. Questo permette agli utilizzatori di oltrepassare la distanza (simulando ambienti lontanissimi), il tempo (ricreando contesti storici passati o futuri) e la dimensione (consentendo l’accesso in ambienti troppo grandi o troppo piccoli).
Grazie quindi a queste nuove tecnologie, sarà possibile iniziare una nuova era del digitale, sempre più amalgamato con il mondo fisico e vicino e alle esigenze degli esseri umani.
Fonte: Porter, M. E., & Heppelmann, J. E. (2017, Novembre). Perchè a ogni organizzazione occorre una strategia per la realtà aumentata. Harward Business Review Italia, 13-25.
As it would be clear to many, especially if you follow social media news and you were among those stuck to the screen during the conference that Facebook held some days ago, The Social Network is touching every day more fields, often falling outside the purely social one.
As of now, Facebook has wide plans to take internet to the countries that can’t afford it (the Free Basics project), a big one about virtual reality (the Oculus Rift headset) and, of course, 360° videos and augmented reality.
In the annual F8, the Facebook developers’ conference that was held in San Francisco some days ago, Zuckerberg himself talked about the advancements of alternative realities and the importance they will have in the future for our everyday life.
In particular, talking about virtual reality, the one on which the platform made its highest bet for now thanks to the Oculus Rift headset, Facebook’s CEO defined it as the one that “has the potential to be the most social platform” since “you just feel like you are right there with another person“.
Talking of another Facebook product, the 360° videos, Zuckerberg added the emotional side to a possible use of this technology, saying that he wants to use it to capture his daughter’s first steps, so the ones who will watch the memory in video will feel exactly ad they were in the same room. During the conference was also made clear as Facebook won’t produce the complex camera used to take these videos, but will make the project available to those wanting to build it to test and use the technology.
Last but not least, Zuckerberg, while talking about Oculus, made some considerations on the future of weareables: headsets as the Facebook one or Microsoft HoloLens for now are the best on the market, but surely in the future we will see new versions, more comfortable for the wearers, similar to normal eyeglasses in which there will be integrated both virtual and augmented reality. But, without doubts: “It will take a long time for us to make this work”, added the CEO.
It’s some time that we are waiting for the step that surely Apple will be taking in the direction of alternative realities: the last purchase was Faceshift, the company developer of a software known for analyzing the facial motions of an actor and transcribing them as 3D animation (as seen in Star Wars), but the signals in this direction are countless. Earlier there was the purchase of Metaio, the company developer of an augmented reality software, and then of the 3D outfit PrimeSense, usable with Kinect, and also the hiring of a former Microsoft employee that was working on the HoloLens project.
Now another news made the first page of the magazines, and it is again a hiring in the world of alternative realities: Apple hired Doug Bowman, a researcher and professor at Virginia Tech who is specialized in virtual and augmented reality. Bowman is not only a specialist in the research of these two types of alternative realities, but he is also an expert of 3D user interfaces and his work is mainly to develop the design of these interfaces and to study the advantages of immersing in virtual environments. The researcher has won awards for research into virtual and augmented reality, with projects such as “VR for Sports Anxiety” and the augmented reality videogame “Llamas vs. Kiwis”, and also, with a group of colleagues, a grant from Microsoft to conduct research with the company’s augmented-reality Hololens glasses.
Mr. Bowman didn’t release any comment about the news and, it seems, writing to his mail at the University an auto-responder says that he is away for sabbatical leave until August 2016; Apple, on its side, didn’t say what will be the role of Bowman inside the company, but it is easily deducible.
Sundance Film Festival and Star Wars together? It seems impossible, since we are talking about the most famous independent cinema festival and the well known mainstream space saga, but instead…this year it happened thanks to the presentation of The Holo-Cinema, a new technology that Disney is developing.
The Holo-Cinema is a new solution that joins cinema and augmented reality, and it’s in its development phase in the ILMxLAB division of Lucasfilm. For now, this technology has been studied to give the chance to the viewers to enjoy the Star Wars experience directly in their living room: simply wearing a pair of smart glasses, the user is able to explore various places of the saga, as Jakku desert, and to meet some famous characters as C-3PO and BB-8.
A Lucasfilm’s spokesperson explained The Holo-Cinema’s possibilities, including also an idea about opening some “portals” through reality that will permit the users to visit ambient and subplots that weren’t showed in the movies. “We can put more story out there”, he said.
Anyway, The Holo-Cinema is not the only news connected to alternative realities that we will see this year at the festival; another interesting project, in fact, caught the visitors’ attention: it’s called Leviathan Project and it wants to bring to the screens the Scott Westerfeld’s best-selling Leviathan trilogy of novels thanks to a mix of augmented and virtual reality. These are young-adult sci-fi books, so the theme itself is pretty good for a transposition in different kinds of reality: the story has among the main characters no less than Mary Shelley and Charles Darwin, and the period is the WWI one.
Leviathan Project is the result of a three-year collaborative effort between Alex McDowell’s 5D Global Studio, USC’s World Building Media Lab, Intel, and Unity and, thanks to the use of virtual and augmented reality headsets and also to special gloves equipped with motion sensors, it projects the viewer inside the books’ steampunk world, with the promise of letting him interacting with the objects around.
These two projects seem to be just the beginning of a revolution that, in the opinion of cinema experts and professionals, during next years will take to Sundance many projects related to new realities.
Do you know CES (Consumer Electronics Show)? It is a tradeshow that takes place every year in January in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it’s one of the most important and awaited events dedicated to global consumer electronic and consumer technology.
Technology fans from all over the world gathered yesterday, as the gates of Las Vegas Convention Center opened for the inauguration of CES 2016 edition; the event will be held until January 9th.
This 2016 edition seems pretty full of news for augmented and virtual reality fans: already from the first announcements there have been no doubts about the hot topics of this year, first of all with the opening of the Augmented Reality Marketplace, a space completely dedicated to augmented reality, in which more than 40 exhibitors will showcase immersive multimedia for alternative realities systems and environments. A big guest will be Oculus Rift for virtual reality, while returning to AR there are two important nominations, respectively for Innovation and as Top Product of the mobile section, to the Vuzix headsets and to the ODG R-7 smart glasses by Osterhout.
Since we already followed the event’s opening day, we know that the first news related to augmented reality has already been revealed: yesterday, in fact, Intel presented its new AR headset. It’s called Daqri and, on the opposite of the other similar devices as HoloLens and Google Glass, it’s oriented to the industrial and professional market: it will help the wearer to receive more information, such as diagrams, schematics and problem areas that need fixing, directly in the field of vision while he works. Of course, being Intel, it’s meant to be pretty powerful.
Daqri headset is only one of the many news expected to be unveiled during this CES edition: we can’t wait to discover them all.
Surely all you reading right now know what Oculus Rift is, but how many have an answer when we say Surreal Vision? Well, now these two realities are definitely linked: the Facebook-owned virtual reality firm, Oculus Research, few days ago announced on their blog that the Surreal Vision team joined them.
Surreal Vision is a UK-based start-up that develops software for “real-time 3D scene reconstruction”: saying it with other words, they accurately represent the real world in the virtual one or, also, they recreate it in a virtual space, blending them together. This incredible mix reveals a step towards Augmented Reality from the Oculus company, until now devoted to the world of Virtual Reality: the reconstruction of the world around the person wearing the headset will help knowing when there’s an obstacle on the way, but will also bring outside objects and landscapes into games. We could call this a kind of inverted Augmented Reality. All this will be possible integrating in the headset Oculus Rift the software created by Surreal Vision, called SLAM++.
Since we are talking about this, in the last hours another Oculus Rift related news popped out: finally the Oculus company CEO Brendan Iribe gave a release price to the world, announcing that the headset will cost $1,500. Thinking about the prices we know from other headsets, this seems a bit out of range, but don’t be scared: at first the price seems really high, but then, if you read the statement, you see that he said that would be the total price of the Oculus and a powerful enough pc to run it. This will not obviously affect the videogames players, that already have powerful machines, but for the average computer user this could be something to keep in mind.
Are Virtual and Augmented Reality for you still Sci-fi? It’s better you become part of the future: pursuant to a research by Digi-Capital, the market related to these new technologies will continue to raise until reaching the significant amount of $150 billion by 2020.
Today these amounts seem exorbitant: the predictions for 2016 are still showing a one-digit volume, with a hypothesis of 5$ billion. But our skepticism fades if we think to the effort of some big players like Google, with their Glass and $542 billion invested in Magic Leap, Facebook and their $2 billion Oculus Rift, HoloLens by Microsoft and the other products by Samsung and HTC. As Digi-Capital managing director Tim Merel said: “There are amazing early stage platforms and apps, but VR/AR in 2015 feels a bit like the smartphone market before the iPhone. We’re waiting for someone to say ‘One more thing …’ in a way that has everyone thinking ‘so that’s where the market’s going.”
Other surprise: the research illustrates how the real protagonist of the market in some years will be Augmented Reality. In fact, the prevision say that Augmented Reality be dominating Virtual Reality, $120 billion to $30 billion.
“VR and AR headsets both provide stereo 3D high-definition video and audio, but there’s a big difference,” Merel said. “VR is closed and fully immersive, while AR is open and partly immersive – you can see through and around it. Where VR puts users inside virtual worlds, immersing them, AR puts virtual things into users’ real worlds, augmenting them. You might think this distinction is splitting hairs, but that difference could give AR the edge over not just VR, but the entire smartphone and tablet market.”
Merel thinks that VR is great for games and 3D films, since that’s what it was designed for. However, it is primarily a living room, office or seated experience. On the other hand, Augmented reality doesn’t have the full immersive experience as virtual reality does, “but that possible weakness for gamers is exactly why AR has the potential to play the same role in our lives as mobile phones with hundreds of millions of users.”
We believe in his words and in our job: let’s watch together the rise of AR year after year. Will you be part of it?
During last weeks we already talked about some headsets and wearables on Experenti’s blog: from Hololens to Vive, from Google Glass to Sony SmartEyeglass; maybe we saw just the prototypes, but we know what to expect.
Today, instead, we are going to talk about a mysterious project that is keeping on their toes the Augmented and Virtual Reality enthusiasts from all over the world: about a year ago, Google invested no less than $ 542 million in a startup called Magic Leap. Of course, everyone started to wonder what was at the back of Magic Leap’s project to interest a colossus like the big G. The situation became thorny as the answers didn’t come.
What we know about Magic Leap is that they’re working on a wearable, probably a headset, which blends Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, and that it’s not meant to be used as stationary. Nothing more. Aren’t you starting to be curious too, now?
The world of the web and technology enthusiast was expecting some answer from the recent Reddit AMA that Magic Leap’s CEO Rony Abovitz held about a month ago. When the users asked Abovitz how he’d explain Magic Leap, he replied in an even more confusing way: “You can think of us as techno-biology,” he said. “We believe it is the future of computing.” Then he explained his meaning of techno-biology: “is the proper application of technology to our biology that leads to the experience of magic.”
From what can be understood, it seems Magic Leap will be different from other headset for a main point: if they put you in a virtual world, Magic Leap will focus on take the magic in the real world. He added that their technology is called “cinematic reality” and it’s not based on the use of stereoscopic 3D, but on Lilliputian projector to shine light and images into the user’s eyes instead.
After that occasion, another one filled the curious with expectations: in march, Rony Abovitz was supposed to appear at TED to talk about his company’s mysterious work. At the last moment, unluckily, the company deleted this and another appearance for reasons unknown. They sent a video, though, that left the users without words: this is what’s apparently happening in Magic Leap headquarters:
Reading the news about Augmented Reality seems to be no doubt on the passage from mobile to wearables. Today, to further prove it, we talk of the announcement of a new headset: the name is Vive and will be created by HTC in partnership with the popular gaming company Valve Software.
What are the features of HTC Vive?
Talking about the design, HTC prototype looks similar to Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset, but there’s a substantial difference compared to other competitors: Vive, other than the headset, comes with some base stations” that you place inside your room and handheld controllers, so the device can track your physical motions and your moves in reality are transferred in the virtual reality.
As you can imagine, this key feature is widely related to the world of videogames; after all, Valve is the owner of the famous gaming platform Steam, which counts for not less than 125 million active accounts, and surely is not a detail that can remain in the background.
Nonetheless, HTC didn’t think only to gaming for its Vive, but also to other possible application fields; using HTC chief Peter Chou’s words:
“Virtual reality will totally transform the way we interact with the world, and will become a mainstream experience for the consumer,” he said “Attending real-time concerts, learning history, watching an incredible movie, reliving memories through photos or shopping experiences will be transformed.”
An example of this is the promotion of movies and TV shows: the company announced also other partnerships with Lionsgate and HBO.
For now HTC Vive is available only in the Developer Edition, but the company said that around the end of 2015 will be released also the Consumer Edition. Do you want to be the first to know? Keep an eye on their site http://www.htcvr.com/
Who never tried View-Master? Maybe you don’t know its name, but surely, looking at the images of this article, something will come in your mind. Presented for the first time in 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York, this toy headset accompanied generations of children, surprising them with its 3D images. In the past, this seemed pure sci-fi; today, on the other hand, it’s like prehistory of technology, and in fact Google and Mattel created a partnership to modernize the toy viewer. How? With Augmented Reality, of course!
The new View-Master will run on the Google Cardboard platform and will have special contents in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for children and families. The two companies, which gave in last days the news of the production of the new 3D stereoscope, said that the headset would work with any type of smartphone on any operating system.
Obviously, some changes have been made to the original device: the images disks are now “Experience Reels”, and they’re not inserted directly in the viewer but they just remain in front of the user. What is inserted in the headset is instead our smartphone, with which we’ll aim at the reels. The famous View-Master’s side button, that in the original device was used to roll the disks, now is used to choose the options that will appear in front of our eyes once we focus on the Experience Reel.
As you can see in the video below, this will immerse us in a unique, highly interactive experience.
View-Master will work also with all the other Google Cardboard apps, that you can download here.
Another surprise is the price: since View-Master is basically just a plastic phone holder, the device is only $29.99 (with one experience reel included); the Experience Reels will be sold in multiple packs for $15.
It seems that View-Master will be released next October.