Weekend Tech-Talk: An AR/VR/MR reality check awakening
For the past two weeks, we’ve been brushing up on some tech rumors.
Sometimes, it is hard to stay on top of the latest news, manuals, and terms for new devices. Thankfully, AMEinfo follows the tech news closely and is here to help.
Today, we decided to delve into the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) space while also trying to figure out what exactly is MR (mixed reality).
Let’s start with the odd one. “MR”: A fairly “recent” term in the tech industry, but what it essentially means is that you combine both the virtual and real worlds together.
A great example of this: Microsoft’s HoloLens, which adds things from the virtual world into the real world. These objects from the virtual world can be a chair that you can check out in your living room, or maybe you want to live out a post-apocalyptic zombie world in the real world. This is what MR devices essentially do.
However, isn’t that AR? You would be correct to think that, but AR is usually used in the mobile industry; does ARKit for Apple’s iPhone ring a bell?
The essential difference between the two terms (AR and MR) is that AR, as the name suggests, augments the objects in the real world. An example of this is pointing your camera at an apple on a table. The device can then give you recipes, such as apple pie or other exciting things. This method essentially helps eliminate the need to search for a recipe which saves some precious time. Moreover, while MR, VR, and AR use some of the same input sensors: Cameras, gyroscopes, GPS, and others. AR uses pre-injected images that a super-computer learns over time. This makes the process of scanning an apple quick and accurate since the AI already knows what the object looks like.
And lastly, we come to the Virtual Reality world. This is an already established term within the tech industry and devices that are VR allow you to fully immerse yourself in a virtual world, and that’s it. Devices such as the HTC VIVE or the Samsung Gear VR are some great examples of VR devices you can buy today.
Now that we have the differences all sorted out, let’s have a peek at what the future of these technologies looks like, after all, it’s not a Tech-Talk without some exciting rumors.
Rumors on the spider web
I mentioned above a few devices, such as Apple’s iPhones, the HTC VIVE, or maybe the Samsung Gear VR.
However, the price tag on those can range from $100 to a $1,000 which many can afford.
The HoloLens, on the other hand, sports a hefty price-tag for a consumer device; around $3,000. Linus Tech Tips, a YouTube channel, gave us a momentary glimpse of what a cheap MR/AR device will look like and function. The bare-bone device, named iGlass AR, can potentially only cost $300.
The iGlass AR is still in the prototype stages, and the team behind it, are not looking to make a product for consumers. The company instead wants to sell the headset’s design to other manufacturers.
What about pure AR; Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android?
Well, it is not a rumor, but both companies will integrate collaborative AR, in their upcoming software releases. Which means you can connect with your friend and play some fantastic games.
Courtesy of CNET. We cut to the critical part (sorry CNET).
Finally, on the VR side of things, the tech has matured enough in the past two years, and the only next big step is going into the Matrix and dodging bullets like Neo; very far off in my opinion.
Tell us what do you think? Has VR matured enough that no innovation is possible anymore?