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Is the next exodus of mass media in 3D Optics, Gestural Interfaces and Augmented Reality?

I am going to tell you right here, right now, we are in for a com­plete par­a­digm shift of what con­tent and adver­tis­ing will mean. I don’t want to scare you and I don’t want to change sub­jects, but I just dis­cov­ered the word – Tech­no-telepa­thy, you see what I’m say­ing, get ready to be flipped upside down.

So back on track, have you heard of Microsoft Hololens or Ocu­lus Rift, how about Daqri Smart Helmet?

So with the Microsoft Hololens they’ve cre­at­ed a per­son­al and work­place device, a head­set that ren­ders 3D con­tent only the wear­er can see. To the out­sider you will just be wear­ing bug­gy eyed glass­es. This AR (aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty) sys­tem is over­lay­ing images and objects onto your liv­ing rooms and offices. Don’t wor­ry, It affords you the mobil­i­ty to maneu­ver about the space with­out injury.

The head­set tracks your move­ments, pays atten­tion to your gaze and reor­ga­nize what it is you see by pro­ject­ing light at your eyes with no ill effect. Since the device tracks where you are, you can use hand ges­tures; for now it’s lim­it­ed to midair clicks by rais­ing and low­er­ing your fin­ger to inter­act with the 3D images. The head­band has a suite of sen­sors to reg­is­ter your move­ments in a room and it uses this infor­ma­tion along with lay­ers of col­ored glass to cre­ate images you can inter­act with or inves­ti­gate from dif­fer­ent angles.

For instance if you’re inspect­ing a vir­tu­al mod­el of the stat­ue of David, if you walk around to the oth­er side of the stat­ue be ready to get a glimpse of some back­side. There is a for­ward cam­era that looks at the envi­ron­ment, so the HoloLens knows where tables, chairs and oth­er objects are. It then uses that infor­ma­tion to project 3D images on top of and even inside them. Get ready to play with dimen­sion­al spaces in a way you’ve only dreamed about. The poten­tial for del­i­cate tech­ni­cal instruc­tion is mas­sive, think doc­tors or pilots.

Now let’s move on to an alter­na­tive con­cept, this is the VR (Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty) depart­ment — the Ocu­lus Rift. Ocu­lus’ head­set looks some­what like Microsoft­’s HoloLens in that it’s a device worn on your head, but after that the sim­i­lar­i­ties end.

Where Microsoft wants inter­ac­tion will the world in an inno­v­a­tive way, Ocu­lus wants you to be there inside the new uni­verse being cre­at­ed. Basi­cal­ly the rift head­set is an open screen on your face that pro­duce a con­scious shift in per­spec­tive as if you were trans­port­ed into a pock­et dimen­sion exist­ing with­in our own. If you haven’t tried the Ocu­lus Rift some have said it’s like “play­ing a role inside of a 3D hologram.”

The objec­tive for Ocu­lus is to ground you in an illu­sion, so you believe you are actu­al­ly there.
The feel­ing is called “pres­ence,” an ambi­tion Microsoft­’s HoloLens isn’t reach­ing for. Since Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty puts its best foot for­ward to immerse you in these new set­tings, devel­op­ers don’t need to exag­ger­ate con­tent to hold gamers’ atten­tion. New medi­ums like VR can be a great breed­ing ground for imag­i­na­tive and unex­pect­ed new con­tent, and can also open the door to oth­er unex­pect­ed players.

Don’t think that Ocu­lus is just a video game out­let, the com­pa­ny wants you to know that VR is great for immer­sive movie expe­ri­ences, too. Even though gam­ing is a huge niche mar­ket, every­one loves movies. Ocu­lus is pro­duc­ing films and nobody knows bet­ter how to show off the capa­bil­i­ties of the Rift than the com­pa­ny that made it. So they have just opened a cin­e­ma divi­sion called Ocu­lus Sto­ry Stu­dio. The first release will be a short inter­ac­tive film called Lost. Ocu­lus is launch­ing a total of five VR movies this year. So much to look for­ward to.

Then to top it off we have Los Ange­les-based start­up DAQRI’s smart safe­ty hel­met for blue col­lar work­ers! Their site states “every aspect of DAQRI Smart Hel­met was designed with the indus­tri­al work place in mind, from its advanced sen­sor pack­age to the intu­itive user inter­face that requires zero cal­i­bra­tion, to the bat­tery life that lasts an entire shift”.

DAQRI claims that the hel­met has more com­put­ing pow­er than any oth­er wear­able device, sport­ing a cou­ple of Qual­comm Snap­drag­on proces­sors. The com­pa­ny has devel­oped their own cus­tom soft­ware called Intel­li­Track that over­lays aug­ment­ed data onto real-world sur­faces in real-time. There are sen­sors that wrap around this device that afford a 360 degree field of vision with HD video and pho­tog­ra­phy and is sup­posed to oper­ate just fine in low light. It appears they are real­ly push­ing aug­ment­ed real­i­ty tech­nol­o­gy to that sci-fi movie play­ing field. The device has been in the works for four years and what I’ve read and seen has impressed me.

But Ocu­lus, Microsoft, Daqri and oth­ers believe in a dif­fer­ent, poten­tial­ly more nat­ur­al way to inter­act with our tech­nol­o­gy. These inno­va­tors are out there cre­at­ing hard­ware that is going to rede­fine how we enjoy our­selves and run our busi­ness­es by using hand ges­tures, 3D images and images super­im­posed on real­i­ty. Wel­come to the world of next-gen­er­a­tion tools for pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, communication.

In all seri­ous­ness, if you are look­ing for employ­ment in a field that just plans on get­ting big­ger and big­ger, con­sid­er what your knowl­edge of AR, VR, optics and so forth are and try to mar­ket your­self towards com­pa­nies that are already head­ed in that direc­tion and jump on board and get surreal.

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