Virtual reality has (justifiably) been the biggest story in the tech world over the past few weeks. Oculus launched the Rift, HTC launched the Vive and gamers are finally getting the chance to see how much potential VR has. But you don’t have to spend $600 on a headset to digitally alter the world around you.
We’ve seen a few Magic Leap demos, some of them showing exciting augmented reality games created for the unreleased VR/AR device. But this exciting startup may be working on something a lot bigger than that, and it could redefine the future of computing. In addition to gaming, Magic Leap’s mixed reality (MR) experience could reshape the way we’ll use computers for productivity and regular day-to-day tasks. It’s the kind of technology that might replace the iPhone in a more distant future.
A new video recorded through the eyes of a Magic Leap user shows this technology in action for the first time, and it completely blew us away. More →
Having just sent out invites for its upcoming September event late last week, it’s clear that Apple’s focus is currently on the next generation of iPhones, but we know that the company’s long-term goals include plenty of other fascinating products.
Countless leaks and reports have painted a relatively clear picture of the unannounced Apple TV subscription service, photos from civilians have uncovered the Apple car, and now, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, recent acquisitions and hirings point to Apple entering the increasingly crowded field of augmented reality as well. More →
During the SIGGRAPH 2011 conference in Vancouver this week, a team comprised of researchers from various universities showed off a demo during a Microsoft Research presentation of how the Kinect Xbox 360 accessory can be used in the real world to create real-time dynamic 3D models. The project, dubbed “KinectFusion,” shows off the Kinect’s ability to render 3D models of an entire room nearly instantly as one researcher pans the accessory around. After the device has scanned the entire area, KinectFusion is capable of creating a 3D texture-mapped model of the entire room using a Kinect RGB image. The technology could be used to create highly immersive augmented reality games or, as TechNet points out, for architectural purposes on a budget. Hit the read link to see a video of KinectFusion in action. More →
Layar, the company behind the popular augmented reality app for the iPhone and Android smartphones, announced on Monday that Layar 5.0 is available. The latest iteration allows users to share screen shots — of anything they view through the application — through Facebook or Twitter. Layar 5.0 also provides new animation capabilities, which means some layer content can come to life in 3D form. Coincidentally, we were using Layar this weekend while walking around a new town, and while we find it much easier to simply use a search engine to find local points of interest — because the Layar browser didn’t always return accurate results — we applaud Layar’s efforts to turn local search into an interactive tool that can provide a fun and unique experience. The app is free and is available in both the Android Market and iTunes App Store now, and Layar says that a new Symbian version with the updated features is in the works. More →
It seems that an AR-like capability within Mobile Safari has gone pretty much unnoticed (or at least unimplemented by a third party) until now. Occipital, a company that has developed a panoramic photo iPhone app, has come across the new feature in Safari for iOS 4.2 devices, and it’s related to the gyroscope. If you have an iOS device with a gyropscope (iPhone 4, latest iPod touch) you can try a live demo for yourself. It’s ridiculously impressive, and by using the gryoscope and a panorama image, you can deliver an augmented reality type of experience right in the Web browser itself. Hit up http://occip.it/pt3dmqna from your iOS browser directly to check out the demo.