Augmented Reality Future, But Not Yet

Augmented Reality Future, But Not Yet
May 25, 2017

A Microsoft employee demonstrates HoloLens during the Microsoft Build Developers Conference in San Francisco last year.


Tweaks to information processing and the battery power of smartphones, means augmented reality will become as ubiquitous as the internet - but just not yet, an expert says.


Bruce Rooke, who is co-founder of augmented reality app Holonize, said the current level of technology could not support augmented reality's full potential.


It meant the technology - which places computer generated information and images on top of the user's real view - is not much use to businesses at the moment.

Bruce Rooke, co-founder of Holonize augmented reality app


Holonize was currently purely for entertainment Rooke said.


But with technology like Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM), being tested by Google, it could soon become as common as pen and paper in offices and universities.


SLAM technology is a process where a device or robot can map its surroundings to create an environment where computer generated images or holograms can appear.


Rooke said:


"New Zealand is right on the cusp just waiting on information processing and battery power, then augmented reality will become as familiar as smartphones."


Once SLAM is installed into smartphones to become mainstream, it will be a revolution, Rooke said.


"It's exciting. The real race is on as to who's going to be first."


But the drawback for a launch pad created using SLAM, is that the augmented reality will only be viewable on devices from the specific perspective captured by the camera. 


He said cameras built into eye glasses could resolve this, such as Microsoft's HoloLens, an augmented reality headset that overlays 3D objects in the real-world environment using SLAM technology.


HoloLens currently uses a radar system to map the 3D coordinates and spatial coordinates of everything in a room. 


"If you could produce something like that running on your phone or tablet, then you could place an object in 3D space. As you walk around that object, it would maintain its location position and that's the holy grail," he said.


Holonize is working with schools and colleges to create a portal that uses their software for displaying and viewing models. This will allow students to upload their own 3D models and view them in augmented reality - particularly useful for graphic design and architecture.

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