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Augmented Reality Is In Your Future

Augmented reality is in your future.  It is.  You just don’t know it yet.

What was science fiction 20, 10, even 5 years ago is quickly becoming reality.  Maybe not as an inexpensive and accessible consumer product, but as a dazzling and, quite honestly, mind blowing tech demo put on by Microsoft.  Yesterday Microsoft demoed the latest version of their augmented reality hardware, the HoloLens.

In the video of the demo above you can see a man interacting with various high definition virtual objects in a mocked up living room.  We even get to see a virtual dog hanging out in the living room, and a diorama of a weather app showing the forecast in Maui.

A person operating a 3D camera moves about the room showing us what the wearer of the HoloLens is seeing.  It’s pretty amazing stuff, and if one were to extrapolate into the future you can easily see people wearing slim glasses (or contacts in the far future) that serve the same function.  As this technology goes mainstream (and it will, it’s just a matter of time) the amount of back end computing and storage required to enable billions of connected devices like this is . . . staggering to comprehend.  As are some of the cool (and scary) things you could do once augmented reality is fully comprehended.

Related:  Weekend Box Office: Aug 7-9, 2015

Visit Microsoft’s official HoloLens site here.

About Neal Ulen

Neal Ulen
Editor/Webmaster - Neal is a writer and recovering engineer who likes pizza, the insidious power of sarcasm (and pizza), and debating science fiction (and pizza). You can also find his writing on Omni, Geeks, and other media platforms.
  • bardolph

    I was reading about data efficiency in quantum computers. IBM’s modeling declares that 300 fully entangled qubits would store as many classical bits as there are atoms in the universe. It will then be possible for systems to match the number of connections in the human brain. Where do you think this will take us in terms of virtual interactions?

    • I think true virtual interactions and augmented reality will only scale if bandwidth scales with computing power…and it’s woefully behind. Here’s why (one man’s opinion). Augmented reality will not happen on the front end (client side) of the
      compute continuum. I don’t ever see a future where a set of slim glasses or contact lenses (or insert delivery system here) would be able to hold enough compute power to generate true augmented reality…not just cute 3D widgets as we see in the video above.

      Sometime in the future client side computing will eventually vanish. The PCs, tablets, etc that we have now will be replaced by “dumb” data delivery systems. Nearly all computing will be done on the back end (server side), and pushed to these dumb devices via ultra high bandwidth. Consumers will “rent” compute power (for lack of a better word) from providers, including renting all software. There will be no installing or configuring or “booting” of your compute device. It will always be on, always connected. Computing will be instant. Instant delivery. Zero piracy. Those who are into gaming or augmented reality will be paying much more than someone who just wants to watch movies and do video chats with friends.

      This model already exists with web hosting. If you run a tiny blog, you rent space on a shared server, with limited memory, less compute power. If you run a huge website you rent (or own) many dedicated servers, full of memory, etc. This will just extend to consumers in the future except computing with be more distributed and cloud like than it is today. All the computing is done on the back end…php code running, databases being accessed, a webpage is generated, then that webpage is sent to your computer and your browser renders the page. No real computing being done on your end.

      High end gaming, which is a precursor to augmented reality in my opinion, has been doing this for a few years. It’s still only delivering cartoony 3D environments converted to a 2D screen, but all the computing is on the back end, and you need really good bandwidth for it to work. Many of these services have already come and gone because bandwidth can’t even handle that level of delivery.