Ever since I was a kid, there has been this unfulfilled promise surrounding virtual reality (VR). Every year some startup or another pushes out a VR system for use in any number of industries, only to have the general population respond with a marked lack of enthusiasm. Where augmented reality has had some success, VR has continued to disappoint.
Part of the problem has been getting business leaders and bean counters to invest in something that seems like a toy to most onlookers. For people that would like to use VR as a toy, the headsets have always been too expensive for mass commercial appeal. Oculus VR is attempting to finally bring VR to the masses with its Oculus Rift headset built for gaming with a cost under $500.
We’ve written a lot on this blog about Google Glass, about Microsoft Kinect, and about augmented reality in general. California’s Atheer Labs has combined these three concepts into a wearable 3D interface that responds to gestures and voice commands, and looks (to me, anyway) slightly less peculiar than Google’s head-mounted gadget. Continue reading
Augmented reality (AR) is starting to become a thing. In place of the oft-quoted promise of AR, tech companies are actually starting to manufacture products capable of virtual interaction. The most basic kind of AR experience can be had by viewing a computer overlay of the real world through the window of your smart phone. This is the experience offered by the Google game (still in closed beta) Ingress.
Walking around and holding your phone in front of you is hardly the most ideal AR experience. Project Glass, also from Google, is a more ambitious use of AR, but it isn’t quite ready to go yet. For now, if you want to use AR for your business, Canon’s MREAL system seems to be the best bet on the market. Continue reading
Microsoft has been busy incorporating new user interface technology into its products for some time, and now scientists at the company’s University of Cambridge lab (along with help from Newcastle University and the University of Crete) have come up with a new gesture recognition device that builds a 3D model of the user’s hand to virtually control electronic devices. Continue reading