But here comes Mixed Reality and for those who have already tested the HoloLens by Microsoft, you know that the killer feature is not the holograms… this is its Spatial Understanding feature: when you start the HoloLens, the device scans its surrounding with its cameras and depth sensors. Thanks to that it is able to create a virtual map of the room you’re in, including the objects such as a table, a couch, their measures, etc.
And that’s really where the magic happens: thanks to this map, the virtual objects are perfectly positioned and scaled to your environment, they are also “stable”: you can look elsewhere, come back to the object, turn around it, it will all look like it has always been there in the reality.
That’s why it is called “Mixed Reality”: it is perfectly integrating the virtual into the reality.
We’ve not seen a lot of those cases lately, mainly because there are very few devices equipped with the right hardware (and none of the available devices are mainstream), but several initiatives make us think that we might see first commercial applications during this year:
- Unofficial sources at Microsoft say that the HoloLens technology is being made available to several hardware manufacturers so that more devices can reach the market.
- Google has started working two years ago on Google Tango which is basically the Spatial Understanding technology of HoloLens applied to smartphones and tablets: Lenovo has just released the first Tango-enabled smartphone with its Phab 2 Pro and Asus just announced its ZenFone AR integrating Google Tango.
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