We live in a world where each person has the ability to create, whether it'd be a painting, an essay, a vision for a business or anything that can be imagined, really. Technology has advanced our understanding as to how we can create in the digital space, and, in many cases made it easier to create things. For example, instead of painting, one can create a graphic or come up with an animation, both of which use a digital way to capture imagery. To infuse even more creativity into this space, popular apps, such as Prisma, transform one's photos and videos into works of art by world famous artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh.
Although creating a digital canvas or writing a blog for millions of people to see is an incredible experience, it is limiting that it lives in a 2D world. But we live in a 3D world. So, what if you wanted to create something in 3D? Afterall we since we experience things in 3D, shouldn't technology allow us also to create in 3D? The answer to that is 'yes' and most recently, Microsoft has unveiled its vision for a mixed reality experience that would allow one to create in the digital and real space, and anywhere in between!
What is absolutely striking about such a fusion is that the boundaries of what is real and what is imaginarily are blurred. Now, the boundaries between the digital and the real world could be meshed together, and the two can be interchanged. Microsoft is forging together a new vision for revolutionizing computing and creativity by fusing together a continuum which consists of virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and a simple tablet or a computer. In this way, technology can empower humans to expand our horizons and transcend time and space. It is an opportunity to create a virtual world and then bring it into existence, which can be shared it with friends and family.
Because the idea of blurring digital boundaries with our space can seem rather abstract, I can give you one example of what this means using the above picture. In the above illustration, a child is learning about marine life in the classroom. To give him an example of how large a shark is in the real world, his teacher asks him to give him an approximate size by using his hands. On the tablet, the teacher can superimpose the shark on the camera image, and take a photo! In this way, a child will be shown with a real live shark in the classroom. Not only is this a 'wow' factor when the child sees himself pictured with a shark, but it also allows the child to be actively involved in learning about the world around him. It is easy to see how such a tool will be powerful in education, as well as across various businesses.
In the future, it will also be possible to print various things created in the program using a 3D printer, and as 3D printing advances, as well as our use of it, it will become limitless what we could into the real from our own imaginations.
The fundamental promise of mixed reality is to remove the barrier that exists between our physical and digital worlds. What is amazing about it is that with Microsoft's vision is that everyone can participate in it. With Mixed Reality Viewer, one can see 3D objects – either from the Remix3D.com community or your own creation from Paint 3D – mixed into your actual surroundings through your PC’s camera, just like in the above image!
Dr. Anna Powers is an entrepreneur, advisor and an award winning scientist. Her passion is sharing the beauty of science and encouraging women to enter STEM fields.