First line in this Wired piece about the Magic Leap One:
In retrospect, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz realizes that all the hype was a big mistake. “I think we were arrogant,” he says.
/via Daring Fireball.
But the Magic Leap One’s 50-degree diagonal field of view, while larger than the competing Microsoft HoloLens, is still extremely limited. And the image quality feels roughly on par with the two-year-old HoloLens. It’s generally good, but with some tracking and transparency issues. Given how much effort Magic Leap has apparently put into cultivating internal creative teams and outside partners, we were also disappointed at the lack of substantial experiences from them. But that last thing, at least, isn’t a major issue for developers right now — since they can now buy Magic Leap’s hardware and start testing their own stuff.
Overall she gives the hardware a very positive review, the software a very lukewarm review, and the “experience” a “meh”. While this release is for developers to get their hands on the devices, I believe the hype this company has built around itself has hurt them. No matter what they showed in this first version it would have been disappointing to many.
I’ve personally never used a HoloLens nor a Magic Leap so I’ll still hold out judgement until I do. But I do think Magic Leap is playing a dangerous game with the hype machine. They should try to lower expectations before their consumer or business devices hit the market. This way when the press covers them the reviews will be glowing rather than lukewarm.
Dent Reality, a company looking to create practical applications for augmented reality, has released a video preview of their first offering Retail AR:
Retail AR can improve the customer experience and boost sales, by surfacing product details, displaying spatial information and navigating customers to relevant areas.
Be sure to watch the video. You’ll see its practicality immediately. I think the app will be useful on a phone, but imagine it built into some glasses? I hope more companies like Dent Reality spring up and I’m positive that they will.
Mozilla has always been on the frontlines of virtual and augmented reality (see our work with WebVR, WebAR and A-Frame), and this is a mixed reality browser that is specifically built to tackle the new opportunities and challenges of browsing the immersive web.
Me, in April 2017:
The way information is displayed is going to dramatically change within MR applications. How should a Wikipedia page on the honey bee be shown to a child wearing MR glasses while they are touring an apiary? Certainly this new wave of information layout should not be constrained to the resizable “windows” that we see in current demos but that we will see a rich set of layout and display tools that will make mundane information that the web currently hosts to come alive.
Mozilla sees this and they are skating to where the puck will be.
Apple just published a page dedicated to Augmented Reality in the latest versions of iOS. It is a good page overviewing some of the use cases we’re already seeing with AR.
This is just the beginning.
I’ve written about AR many times, so I won’t reiterate everything today. But look at these use cases and imagine them being accomplished, not within a small hand-held rectangle, but in full view using small glasses or — dare I even say it — contacts. It will be a while yet. But this first phase will set a lot of the UI, gestures, etc. that will be implemented in whatever the next generation of hardware is.
We’ll finally get a killer app for AR in 2018. Maybe hope springs eternal, but I’d love to see an AR app with real utility – not just a game like Pokemon Go.
I suppose it matters how you define “killer app”. For me a killer app would be when “most” people begin to use AR somehow. And, if that is the definition then I would say AR already had multiple killer apps. Pokemon Go, Snapchat, Instagram, Google Maps, all of these are excellent uses of AR and hundreds of millions of people use them.
Mixed reality is tough to segment and define. When I talk about AR I think I’m mainly talking about moving our computing experience away from our screens and into the real world. I would love to have my workspace no longer be tied to my work office. To have any size screen I want, wherever I need it. As I’ve written, I don’t think that will happen for another 9 years. But perhaps that is a different form of AR and AR has already “made it”.
I wonder what MacManus’s definition of “killer app” is?
He has some interesting takes. Most of which I agree with.
I do not think I agree with this take, though:
AR will be a passing craze, while at the same time making certain niche use cases much better than they’ve ever been. I just hope those use cases are more useful than funny animated masks on social networks.
AR may indeed be a passing craze but I don’t think that will be determined within 2018. It will take much longer to know that. And I don’t think the use cases for AR will be niche. For instance, I do believe my future workspace will be “in AR” rather than VR. (Or, perhaps this is my own wishful thinking). And I think there are enough people like me that would want this to say it is larger than just a niche use.
Of course, maybe I’m wrong and Ready Player One will be the reality.
Regarding self-driving technology, though, Read says:
Problems of infrastructure, distance, regulation, public opinion, and human nature will infuriate utopians who would like a Jetson’s future today, but these are real issues that will slow adoption in the real world. It’s coming, but current estimates seem optimistic.
This I agree with. Obviously.
Many of us underestimate how long change happens. The change we want we want immediately. Personally, I want self-driving to become mainstream yesterday. But I feel we’ve still got nearly a decade of manual cars and drivers to deal with before things take off.
More people should write down their predictions. And not just for 2018 but for the next 20 years. It is a fun mental exercise and I’m certain it will be fun to look back upon every few years.
Readers of my blog will know that I occasionally attempt to predict when certain technologies that I write about will hit the mainstream. While I’m very passionate about a few technologies, I try to temper that excitement with the experiences I’ve had, the wisdom that comes with age, and other factors. Usually, things take a little longer to happen than we’d like for the things we want to see most. And sometimes, sometimes, the things we want most never materialize at all.
For the purposes of this post, mainstream doesn’t mean critical mass but rather mass market adoption. With 7B+ people on the planet reaching critical mass is far easier than reaching mass market saturation. In other words, a company, product, or technology can reach sustainability and never truly hit the mass market. Examples: Tesla can succeed, be profitable, and have happy customers without the world moving on from fossil fuels. A company focusing on AI can make great livings, do compelling and challenging work, without every family having their own personal C-3PO.
Here are some stake-in-the-ground predictions on some of the most talked about technologies of our day. We’ll see in the next few decades if I was even close.
Check back in a few decades to see if I was even close.
Smartify is a free app that allows you to scan and identify artworks, access rich interpretation and build a personal art collection in some of the world’s best museums and galleries.
Gunseli Yalcinkaya, writing for Dezeen, calls it “a Shazam for the art world”.
This is cool. Can’t wait to try it out.
/via Dave Mark at The Loop.