A group of researchers from Stanford University and Princeton University has put together the largest RGB-D video dataset to date with over 1,500 scans of over 700 different locations across the world, for a total of 2.5 million views. This dataset, called ScanNet, has been semantically annotated for use in research projects. The purpose of this type of data, of course, is to teach our future robot overlords to both see and understand what they capture better. In the process, our computer-bas...
In the past, to see a pre-constructed state of the house that you would one day live in, you had to be able to read blueprints or hire an artist to sketch it out. Later came the ability to have a 3D rendering of that house on a screen, but you'd still have to work hard to envision it in real life.
In December of last year, UK-based Zappar successfully raise $84,356 for their ZapBox mixed reality headset—over $50,000 more than their goal. Well, they just blew that sum out of the water when they announced this morning that they've closed a Series A round of funding with $3.75 million.
If you have a HoloLens, you can now control the lighting throughout your home or office via holographic controls using the free Hue Lights app in the Windows Store. The app, made by California-based AfterNow, works with the Philips Hue colored lighting system, and is much more polished than the prototype we saw last month.
If the rumors are right, Microsoft has decided to cancel the second version of the HoloLens, and they will instead move onto version three of their mixed reality headset. In the latest report, Thurrott's Brad Sams states that the expected release date of this new Windows Holographic device wouldn't be until 2019, a long two years away for those of us putting full effort into HoloLens app development.
Late last year, two surgeons from the Instituto de Ortopedia e Traumatologia de Jaraguá do Sul in Brazil started using a combination of 3D printing and the Microsoft HoloLens to help plan spinal surgeries. And now, with the rest of their team, they've successfully performed a surgical procedure on their first international patient using their 3D impression planning and augmented reality process.
When I first started with HoloLens development last April, one of the first things I created was a window. The purpose of that window was to be attached to a wall and give the illusion of being in a different space—an effect that is often referred to as a "magic window" effect by developers. My goal was to create the feeling of being in the penthouse of a skyscraper, and it's one that I hope to get back to working on soon.
We live in a marvelous age, a time where technology is driving us forward as a species at a rapid pace, and tech-driven miracles are becoming more and more commonplace. While the human race may not be focused on building the largest wonders of the world, as it once was in history, the current order of wonders are much smaller in scale—even internal.
User interfaces for computers have evolved over the years, from the introduction of the keyboard and mouse on the personal computer, to touchscreens on mobile devices, to natural voice recognition. However, the same cannot be said for robots or drones—until now.
Crayon, a free 3D drawing application by the mysteriously named arkalian, showed up in the Windows Store recently, so I gave it a try like I do all new apps for Windows Holographic. Truthfully, I loaded it up not expecting much, but wow, was I wrong. It's a simple idea, but it's executed well enough to make it a truly great experience on the HoloLens.
If anyone has every told you that they see music they listen to, they have synesthesia. It's a fascinating neurological phenomenon where people experience crossed responses to stimuli, and no one knows exactly how common this is. A rough estimate claims that one in every 5,000 to 100,000 people is a synesthete, but it could be far more common or rare. Nobody really knows.
Mimesys, whose core focus has always been about creating holographic representations of humans for virtual and augmented reality, has released a video showing off their holographic communication platform in action. This new communication tool uses a combination of virtual reality, with the HTC Vive and a Kinect, and mixed reality, with the HoloLens, to allow the users to have virtual meetings from anywhere in the world as though they are in the same room.
A few days before Christmas last year, we saw the first glimpse of HoloSuit, a new motion controller by startup Kaaya Tech. This full-body motion controller is designed as a tracksuit with sensors that can be used to control devices such as a computer or Microsoft HoloLens, and now it's getting ready to start production, with an upcoming Kickstarter campaign planned to go live soon.
An interesting new use-case for the Microsoft HoloLens appeared in a YouTube video from Washington-based DataMesh last month. In it, you can see the HoloLens working in conjunction with the Microsoft Surface Studio, Surface Dial, and Surface Pen for 3D model detailing and visualization in real time.
"Necessity, not novelty," is a phrase I use often when it comes to HoloLens development. It would be fair to call it my mantra, or mission statement, as I prototype and explore software creation on this new frontier of mixed reality.
Sky Zhou, also know as Matrix Inception on YouTube, is no stranger here on NextReality. We loved his Pokémon concept game for HoloLens, as well as his D3D Keyboard that lets HoloLens users leave notes around the house. He just can't seem to stop creating cool mixed reality apps, and he's already got another one in the works.
HoloLens developer Michael Peters of In-Vizible has released quite a few videos since receiving his HoloLens last year. Many of his experiments are odd and funny, but some include serious potential approaches to data visualization. In the videos embedded below, you'll specifically see stock market information beautifully rendered in different ways to help understand the data.
If you've played the game Portal by Valve before, you've most likely popped one portal onto the ceiling and another directly below it on the floor, dropped your Companion Cube in, and then watched it fall forever. Well, now it has been done in real life, in an actual hallway, not in a rendered world.
After what appeared to be an issue with the Windows Store for HoloLens not showing many newer applications, including one that I had released over a month ago, Microsoft finally squashed the bug. So, at first glance, it would seem as if there were lots of new HoloLens projects that just appeared in the store, even though they've likely been hiding out there for a while. HoloTerrain is one of those apps.
A few days ago, there were flying piranha, snakes, and dragons roaming around freely at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, but they weren't real or even hallucinations—they were holograms brought to life with the Microsoft HoloLens.
The HoloLens is a natural medium for 3D data visualization, which offers a far more ideal approach over 2D screens to managing multiple resources simultaneously and grasping the bigger picture. We've already seen how management is using holograms to oversee cities, firefighters, and the military, and now training for sports teams is being addressed with VAR Football.
DigiLens, a company specializing in optical waveguide technology, recently announced that they had closed a $22 million round of strategic investment, also known as Series B funding. This round brought in Sony, Foxconn, Continental, and Panasonic, as well as more traditional venture investors such as Alsop Louie Partners, Bold Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Dolby Family Ventures.
It seems to me you can't swing a dead cat near an augmented reality developer without hearing the word Vuforia escape their lips. PTC's software solution has become the go-to for most developers in the mobile AR space, and since they recently added full support for the HoloLens in Unity, I figured it was about time we learn to make something with it.
Students from Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center have been working on an augmented reality system to help teach music in a project called Music Everywhere.
The limitless applications of 3D data visualization will enable a more efficient approach to many of life's problems. Each day, developers exploring this technology are finding new ways to solve these problems in mixed reality; 3D modeling, easier house management, spinal surgery, and forest fire management are just a few recent examples of ways 3D data visualization can benefit us all.
While all of my previous Have You Seen This? posts have all focused on individual HoloLens apps in the Windows Store, this time I'll be sharing a couple at once. These holographic applications are really simple in scope, so there is not a lot to say about them, yet they are interesting enough for me to want to share them with you.
These days, if you walk through Best Buy, you will see an entire area designated to smart home technology. Thanks to the interest and growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), this exciting new technology has finally entered the mainstream. Appliances, thermostats, and even the lighting throughout your house can be controlled from your computer or smartphone. You could also use artificial intelligence; Simply tell Amazon's Alexa what you want your house to do, and she will do it.
3D modeling is usually a very long and complicated process. Manipulating the thousands to millions of vertices, faces, and triangles to the correct shape you want is just the first part of the process, and can take a good while depending on the level of detail needed. From there, you need to texture the model by applying the UV coordinates and placing the textures in the correct places. And all of this isn't even including the process of creating normal maps.
Have You Seen This?: HoloChess Is a Great Example of How to Make a HoloLens App Without the Hardware
I am often asked about getting started with HoloLens development and most of the time my answer, in short, is: Install Unity, install Visual Studio, install the HoloLens emulator, and make something.
Every day the young world of mixed reality is creating new ways for people to work with with computers. We are looking for, and finding, new ways for these head-worn computers to understand what we tell them. Sometimes it is with our hands, sometimes it is where we turn our head, sometimes it is what we say. In the case highlighted below, it's where we walk.
Once mixed reality technology is more widely available and realistically priced for consumers, using the tech to create the illusion of a larger space, will likely be a favorite use for mixed reality in places where real-estate is expensive, people tend to live in smaller homes and work in tighter offices.
A few days ago, I pulled up the Windows Store on my HoloLens and saw a few new applications. One that caught my attention was Oriental Museum, which lets you explore China's Forbidden City, and the other one is very similar free demo app called Secrets of Ancient Egypt by Link Development.
In this episode of Have You Seen This?, we will look at Oriental Museum by 247 Technology Limited, a free application that hit the Windows Store for HoloLens a few days ago. Museum exhibits seem to be a popular theme amongst the demonstrations going up, so let's see how this one looks.
Here at NextReality, we talk a lot about the many different ways of controlling holograms in the HoloLens and other augmented and mixed reality devices; New and creative ways are coming more and more every day. Most recently is something called the HoloSuit. In the 25-second clip below, you can see a woman moving the arm of a jacket which in turn moves a 3D model of Darth Vader on the screen. It's a simple idea with big potential.
Joyce Kuo of Nijie Technology released a video showing a group fighting it out Dragon Ball Z-style in a restaurant, but instead of Goku, Piccolo or Vegeta, we have two horse-headed young ladies shooting fire and other elements at each other.
Imagine wearing your HoloLens, then reaching out to touch a hologram and actually feeling it. Mind blown, right?! Now imagine that same hologram responding to your touch. I don't mean in the way holograms currently respond to an air tap, but a much more refined and precise touch. Maybe you touch a character on the shoulder and it turns around to see you, or maybe you hit a button in the air and it reacts accordingly.
When the HoloStudy Demo app for HoloLens came out in September, it was a pretty impressive start to what could be a very valuable science tool for education. Now, Moscow-based HoloGroup, makers of HoloStudy, started an Indiegogo campaign to improve their modular teaching app.
We've been hearing some interesting rumors in the last few days that are stirring up all kinds of speculation about the potential upcoming consumer release of the HoloLens. However, MSPoweruser has speculated a bit further past the consumer HoloLens release to a possible HoloLens 2 as soon as Q3 2017.
When developing for the HoloLens, keeping a constant 60 fps (frames per second) while making things look beautiful is a challenge. Balancing the processing power to display complex models and keeping the frame rate where it needs is just a straight up painful process, but a solution seems to be on the horizon.