extended reality
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extended reality

Extended Reality is an umbrella term that encompasses augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR). VR creates a completely immersive environment, while AR superimposes digital objects onto the user’s view of the real world. Mixed reality is a combination of the physical and virtual world.  There are many differences between MR, VR and AR, but the main ones are how they’re experienced and what they’re used for. Let’s take a closer look at these three types of extended reality and see how they differ.

AUGMENTED REALITY

Augmented reality technology is a type of computer-generated simulation that superimposes virtual objects onto the real world. It is often used in gaming and entertainment applications, but it has potential uses in a variety of other fields as well. Augmented reality technology allows users to interact with virtual objects in a realistic way, and it has been used to create immersive experiences for both gamers and non-gamers alike. Augmented reality technology may be used for everything from training simulations to educational tools.

One of the most promising applications for augmented reality is in the medical field. By overlaying digital information on top of the real world, augmented reality could provide doctors with instant access to patient records, X-rays, and other vital data. This would allow for more accurate diagnoses and faster treatment times. In the future, augmented reality could also be used to provide real-time guidance to surgeons during complex procedures. Other potential applications for augmented reality include providing tourists with information about their surroundings and helping shoppers find the products they are looking for in stores.

The most common programming languages for software and hardware development in augmented reality include C#, C/C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, Visual development tools, and Swift. C# is a Microsoft language that enables developers to create interactive content for the web, desktop, and mobile devices.

Companies building AUGMENTED REALITY hardware and software applications

Google

Several years ago Google developed Google Glass, which was an augmented reality headset.  However, the device did not gain much traction and was eventually discontinued.  The device incorporated augmented reality by displaying digital information in the user’s field of vision.The main critique of the technology was that people felt uncomfortable knowing they were on camera or filmed all the time, even while they were having a casual conversation.  The other major criticism of Google Glass was that it caused headaches and eye strain.

While overall Google has been tight-lipped about its plans for augmented reality, the company has been busy acquiring businesses and hiring staff with expertise in the field. In 2014, it purchased smart glasses start-up, North, and in 2015, it acquired eyewear company, Jawbone. In 2016, Google hired a team of researchers from University of Oxford who specialize in AR. And earlier this year, the company made a big investment in Magic Leap, an AR headset startup. 

And its software tools, like its Tango platform and ARCore SDK, help developers create AR applications. Other companies are working with or partnering with Google on AR technology. These include Qualcomm, LG, and Lenovo.

Several other companies picked up where Google left off and are developing augmented reality devices which are gaining popularity. These devices include Microsoft’s HoloLens and Magic Leap’s One.  Both of these devices allow users to see digital information superimposed over their real-world surroundings. This information can include things like maps, directions, and even virtual objects. 

Microsoft

Microsoft is building a range of hardware and software products that incorporate augmented reality technology.   The hardware devices include the HoloLens headset, which projects digital images onto the real world, and the Kinect sensor, which can be used to track the movements of users. The software products include the Windows Holographic operating system, which allows users to interact with holograms, and the Azure cloud computing platform, which powers AR applications. Microsoft is also working with a number of other companies on AR technology, including Intel, Qualcomm, and HTC. The company has committed to spending $500 million on AR research and development over the next five years.

Apple

Apple is building tools for developers to create augmented reality experiences for Apple’s hardware devices. Iphones and ipads have built-in sensors that track the movement of the device and use this information to render virtual objects in the real world.  Apple is also working on an AR headset that will provide a more immersive experience. Rumor is that the Apple AR headset, which has been in development for several years, will be released in 2022.  

In addition to hardware, Apple is also working on software that will enable developers to create AR experiences. The company released an ARkit that enables developers to create AR experiences for iphones and ipads. As the Apple app store accounts for 30% of Apple’s sales revenues and is the highest profit operating unit of the company, the potential for embedded applications with AR is enormous. 

Facebook

Facebook has been working on developing augmented reality technology for a while now. The company’s hardware division, Oculus, has released several products that incorporate augmented reality, such as the Oculus Rift and the Oculus Quest. Facebook’s tools for augmenting reality work by overlaying computer-generated images on top of real-world objects. To tools being developed by Facebook are a camera that can be used to create 3D images, and an app that lets users view and interact with virtual objects.

The company is also working with a number of other companies on developing augmented reality technology. Facebook has partnered with Qualcomm to develop AR glasses. Facebook is also working with Ray-Ban to develop AR smart glasses. The company is also working with Salesforce to develop an augmented reality platform for businesses. The company is reportedly spending billions of dollars on developing augmented reality technology.

Amazon

Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes computer-generated images on top of real-world surroundings and a huge benefit is providing more information about products, or allowing users to see how products would look in their homes before purchasing them. Amazon is working on several different hardware devices that incorporate augmented reality, such as the Amazon Fire phone and the Amazon Echo Look. They are also working on software tools that would allow developers to create augmented reality experiences for Amazon customers.

In addition to developing their own tools for augmented reality, Amazon is also working with other companies on this technology. The company us partnering with Microsoft to allow Office 365 users to view documents in an augmented reality environment. They are also working with Walt Disney Imagineering on an augmented reality platform for theme parks. Amazon has invested millions of dollars in developing augmented reality technology, and they show no signs of slowing down.

Tesla

Tesla is building a number of hardware devices that incorporate augmented reality. These devices include a head-up display, a glove, and a controller. The head-up display projects images and information onto the windshield, while the glove allows users to interact with the interface using hand gestures. The controller is used to navigate the interface and select menu options. 

Tesla is also working with a number of other companies on augmented reality technology. These companies include Sulon Technologies, Magic Leap, and Oculus VR. Tesla is spending a considerable amount of money on developing augmented reality technology. The use cases for augmented reality technology are numerous. Tesla plans to use it for navigation, infotainment, and vehicle diagnostics. Ultimately, augmented reality will allow Tesla to provide an even more immersive and user-friendly experience for its customers.

Mixed Reality

Mixed reality (MR) is a term for technology that blurs the line between the physical and digital worlds. It combines elements of both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Mixed reality technology is being used in a number of different ways, including gaming, entertainment, education, and training. For example, mixed reality can be used to create lifelike VR environments for gaming or to provide AR overlays for educational purposes.

Mixed reality is also being used to train surgeons and other medical professionals, as well as to provide immersive experiences for entertainment venues such as theme parks. In the future, mixed reality is expected to play an even bigger role in our lives, with more and more businesses and individuals using it to enhance their work or daily lives.

VIRTUAL REALITY

Virtual reality technology is an interactive and immersive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment. It incorporates auditory and visual feedback, and sometimes other types of sensory feedback like haptics, a technology which can create a sense of touch through vibrations or motions to the user. 

Virtual reality is being used in education, training, entertainment, and therapy. The technology can be used to simulate a classroom environment so that students can get a feel for what it would be like to be in a real classroom with a virtual trainer.  VR can also be used to create realistic simulations of dangerous situations, such as car accidents or natural disasters. This can help people to learn how to react in a safe environment without risks associated with a physical environment. VR  is also being used in video games and movies to create immersive experiences for the user.

Some virtual reality tools are still in development, such as full-body virtual suits that provide tactile feedback and virtual reality therapy systems that use virtual environments to treat phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.

AUGMENTED REALITY (AR)

Tool: Mobile phone or head mounted display glasses to facilitate superimposing digital content over the physical world.

Hardware: Hololens, Magic Leap I, Smartphone (or tablet), Think Reality A3

Application: Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Instagram

MIXED REALITY (MR)

Tool: See-through display (head-mounted) to merge virtual content with a user’s physical environment.

Hardware: Hololens, Magic Leap I, Varjo XR3, Lynx, Yost Labs Prio Dev Kit

Application: Destination: Mars, Undersea

VIRTUAL REALITY (VR)

Tool: Head-mounted immersive display to
interact with a computer generated virtual environment

Hardware: Oculus, HTC Vive, Meta Quest 2, Varjo Aero VR Headset

Application: Human Anatomy VR, theBluVR

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