My experience with augmented reality using HoloLens
Not too long ago I had the chance to talk to a participant of the Net Conf AR 2017, an international conference organized by Microsoft where the main partners of the host country present the different technologies and products of the company.
The presentation that struck me the most was the one about Augmented Reality by Microsoft, based on a HoloLens product. Throughout the day, a small demo was presented applying this technology on a game developed with the Unity3D platform, where spiders appeared in the same environment where the participants were and had to be eliminated with an insecticide.
Overall, the main steps of the demo were first to map the environment considering depth, height and distance between the different objects present in the place, everything using HoloLens. Then, on the development platform, different obstacles were added, along with enemies (the spiders) and our element of defense (the insecticide).
The development of the game ended in a surprisingly agile and quick way, which showed the maturity of the platform and how easy it is today to develop this type of game and application in general. Then they proceeded to deploy it on the HoloLens and the game began.
Something that caught my eye in this story was the term ''mixed reality''. But what does this trendy concept mean anyway? Mixed reality combines the real world and the digital world, that is, the virtual reality and the physical reality, allowing the interaction between elements in both universes.
Mixed reality is different from augmented reality in that the latter generates real-time stimuli to interact with the user, which overlap with the person's actual physical environment. On the other hand, mixed reality not only allows the user to interact with the virtual environment but also features physical objects of their immediate surroundings and uses them as elements to interact with the virtual environment. (1).
Apart from their use in the world of games, this technology has important applications now in other sectors that are closer to our reality, such as:
· Engineering and architecture, enabling the design of infrastructures, home and interior design.
· In the field of medicine, both for educational and practical purposes.
· And, why not, also in the field of marketing.
As a conclusion, and from a more personal point of view, I can say that this technology is very versatile and useful in different aspects of life, both work-related and personal. I dare say that the future of development lies here, and brings us closer to opportunities we could only imagine a few years back.
Iván E. Pighin