We know your time is valuable to you, so starting this week — and continuing every Wednesday — we are going to release weekly Dev Reports that quickly highlight important news and updates that augmented and mixed reality developers should know about.
The Easter Bunny is about to get his first experience with mixed reality. Virtual Reality Los Angeles (VRLA) will host its third annual expo in April, and this year's attendees will get to experience a fun Easter egg hunt sponsored by AfterNow and VRLA, in partnership with mixed reality king, the Microsoft HoloLens.
In an early morning blog post, Microsoft announced the expansion of the Microsoft HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program. This announcement comes on the tail of an expanded HoloLens release over the last few months to many countries outside the initial US and Canada.
Trimble is integrating its mixed reality applications into the DAQRI Smart Helmet to enable outdoor and on-site support for design, construction, and heavy industry as part of a collaboration the companies announced today.
This morning, in an early morning session at GDC 2017, Brandon Bray, a senior program manager lead at Microsoft, revealed a mixed reality headset made in collaboration with Acer—a different headset than the one we saw from Acer at CES 2017 earlier this year. Also at the event, the name for Microsoft's holographic system seems to have changed from Windows Holographic to Windows Mixed Reality.
News: Five Windows Holographic Mixed Reality Headsets Have Now Been Seen, but Most Have Not Been Touched
Some of the products I have been looking forward to seeing the most during CES 2017 has been the upcoming Windows Holographic virtual reality headsets. These are VR headset that will run a version of the Windows Holographic platform, which will allow users to have a similar experience as the HoloLens with a mixed reality environment. Of the six headsets that could have possibly made it to CES, five had shown up. Unfortunately, most of them are behind glass.
A new contender has entered the mixed reality ring. San Fransisco-based Occipital has just released an "Explorer Edition" of Bridge—an iPhone-based mixed and virtual reality headset that uses their popular Structure Sensor. At a fraction of the cost of a HoloLens developers kit, this could be a place many curious people use to find their NextReality.
As we slowly approach its January 3 start date, CES 2017 seems to be shaping up to be an exciting year for smart glasses as well as augmented and mixed reality.
In the tech world, when you're a small startup going up against the Goliaths and their massive marketing budgets, you're forced to find and produce something almost magical to help your product stand apart from the rest. And that's exactly what Occipital Inc. has done with their Bridge headset.
News: Try Windows 10's Mixed Reality Portal on Your PC with Insider Build 15048 — No Headset Required
If you're part of the Windows 10 Insider Program, build 15048 launched this morning, and included a nice big unannounced surprise. You can now launch the Mixed Reality Portal and enable the simulation to try out mixed reality right from your PC, even if you don't have one of the new Acer dev kits.
With the release of the HoloLens, Microsoft has put itself in both a great position while giving the competition a serious target to aim for. This is normally the case for anyone that is first to the market with a new idea, and now we've finally got a good competitor HoloLens coming. Stereolabs, a company known for its impressive 2K stereo camera, will be entering the mixed reality head-mounted display space with a Developers Kit as soon as early-2017.
Microsoft's HoloLens may the coolest new advancements in technology we've seen in quite some time, and anyone (with deep pockets) can buy one right now. But so far it's been an isolated platform where you experience mixed reality alone and others watch you air tap nothing but air. Developers are working to change that, and we're seeing the first examples crop up online already.
If you've ever made graphs and charts, you know it can be a struggle to represent a large amount of data. It's something that just doesn't work very well on a flat surface. In virtual and mixed reality, however, the data can exist all around you.
With most augmented and mixed reality devices, you wear a purchased headset and use it alone, in a place of your choice—but not this one. Ben Sax decided to reinvent the binoculars to create a mixed reality experience that anyone can walk up to and try for free. He calls it the Perceptoscope.
We started with a static page and evolved to dynamic screens, and making that 2D surface interactive was a relatively straightforward transition in design. But when you can put holographic objects literally anywhere in the room, the way you design apps, games, and experiences requires a different mode of thought entirely.
We're already glimpsing the future when we look at mixed reality through a headset, but is the real evolution of this technology something that will exist as part of our bodies? As intense as that may sound, TechCrunch's Jay Donovan offers compelling reasons why it's not such a crazy idea:
Our future technology has a lot of amazing possibilities, and few have more promise than augmented and mixed reality headsets. But these advancements come with several concerns over privacy, and if we don't understand them, we may lose control of our own data without even knowing.
Augmented and mixed reality started as a lofty promise that's just now taking form, but with several companies taking somewhat different approaches, it's hard to understand what's what. Let's take a look at the three big players and what they're doing: HoloLens, Meta, and Magic Leap.
Most sandboxes wait for children on a playground or the occasional zen garden raking. This one combines light, sand, and depth cameras to create a completely malleable topographical map you can alter with a brush of your hand.
What if everything in life was controlled by augmented reality? Keiichi Matsuda imagines: "The architecture of the contemporary city is no longer simply about the physical space of buildings and landscape, more and more it is about the synthetic spaces created by the digital information that we collect, consume and organise; an immersive interface may become as much part of the world we inhabit as the buildings around us.
Creepy crawlers. I'd say I'm not an extremely girly-girl. But (much to my embarrassment) bugs still have the capacity to make me shriek. Solution? A new study suggests that augmented reality could be used to cure cockroach phobia.