Everyone has an opinion about Magic Leap. It's either a revolutionary augmented reality company that could change the face of entertainment, or it's emblematic of everything wrong with the technology industry -- an over-hyped, multi-billion dollar pipe dream. Last week, we saw the first impressions of the company's long-awaited headset, which splashed a bit of reality on the company's hype cycle. Now that we have a better sense of what Magic Leap's $2,295 hardware is capable of, we can take a step back and consider what the company is actually trying to accomplish. In a brief demonstration, I found the Magic Leap One headset much lighter than I expected, even though it looks like a pair of '80s sci-fi goggles.
In a recent PCMag article, Rob Marvin got hands-on with the Amazon Sumerian 3D development platform for building AR/VR apps and gives an in-depth overview of its features and the company's broader Immersive Technology strategy. According to Marvin, Amazon's decision to enter the AR/VR space with their Sumerian platform came down to a convergence of three factors: the emergence of smartphone-based augmented reality; untapped VR opportunities in the business-to-business (B2B) market; and helping AWS customers solve pain points with things they were already trying to do: "The B2B applications include scenarios like interactive digital signage (think the giant talking hologram ads from Blade Runner: 2049), virtual training, and a host of industrial Internet of Things use cases, such as using sensors to create digital twins and complex simulations.The idea is that you have a high-quality, high-definition, context-aware sensor in the hands of billons of people." One of Sumerian's biggest selling points, Marvin explains, is that despite how powerful the editor is, there's nothing to download or install. During the demo, Sumerian loaded from a browser URL in seconds. Even doing real-time natural language processing (NLP) and rendering elaborate animations didn't slow it down much.
Amazon Web Services Sumerian service is a big bet that the future of virtual and augmented reality applications will run through a Web browser and upcoming standard called WebXR. The virtual reality platforms from HTC Vive and Facebook's Oculus require expertise that enterprises don't have at the ready. In addition, tools like Unity are great for 3D rendering and games, but enterprises will have a hard time finding enough use cases to warrant investment. AWS' bet is that Sumerian and an interface that simplifies steps will garner enterprise usage. Sumerian, outlined at re:Invent last year, integrates with AWS' Polly voice platform as well as Lex, the engine behind Alexa.
Immersing yourself in Sony PlayStation's virtual reality games and experiences is going to cost less starting Thursday. The video game maker is cutting the price of its PlayStation VR systems by $100, which brings the cost down to $299.99 for the game maker's virtual reality headset that comes with the Doom VFR game. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim bundle, will now be priced $100 lower at $349.99. While some say consumer interest in virtual reality has slowed, Sony has sold more than two million of its PlayStation VR system since it debuted in October 2016. Consumer purchases of video game consoles historically see an uptick with a price decline and certainly Sony is hoping for the same with its VR system, which works with the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Pro consoles.
Virtual reality was imagined as a human simulation technology long before the most recent wave of innovation that brought us the Oculus RIFT and the wave of innovation that followed. Now, rendering high framerate graphics using multiple, stereoscopic points in virtual reality is matching the speed and accuracy of robotic sensors and cameras. By modeling physics, motion, and material interactions, virtual reality is poised to become a simulation tool for training automatons - robots, drones, and diagnostic gear - before they need to perform in the real world. Recent advancements point to a potentially disruptive combination of virtual reality and artificial intelligence which will unlock a future with safe and competent intelligent machines, able to learn exponentially through self training and intelligent, realistic simulations. Ongoing academic work in machine learning and virtual reality have been migrating to corporations and startups through open source initiatives and movement of skilled people through the academic, startup, and corporate workplaces.
With the progressing year, the technology diversified ways in which we could communicate and retrieve the information from the pocket fitting devices. Technologies such as IoT, automation, and cognitive computing moved beyond the conceptual stages in 2016. As the year takes up, companies throughout the world are developing their business strategies. In order to move forward in the competition, companies are turning towards major investments in technology. The world's biggest consumer technology convention, CES is one of the best places to find a handful of key technologies. CES 2017 finished another spectacular year with pioneering technology trends including smart homes to self-driving cars. This year is assumed to bring transformative technology trends for us to explore and invest in. AI, also known as Artificial Intelligence has been studied for decades and now the vision of transforming insentient objects into intelligence is gradually becoming a reality. AI based Innovations are now pondering into the market and becoming part of our daily lives with quick adaptability. Artificial intelligence assists humans and handles the tasks flawlessly, without interrupting your comfort. Whether to set an alarm, or remind you of something important, or to play your favorite music or to read out general news for you or to find your phone, AI can make the task more convenient and smart. Sit back and relax while you command your device to do things for you.
Emerging technology trends signal a future with screenless interactions between businesses and consumers, with voice, augmented and virtual reality, wearable devices, and artificial intelligence slowly but surely removing the traditional graphic user interface (GUI) from the equation. "The next decade will be even more disruptive for how customers interact with brands," said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen at last month's Summit EMEA. Here are the numbers to back it up. It also predicts that 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human by that time. In fact, 72% termed it a "business advantage."
A Finnish company called Varjo that has been working in secret until now has unveiled a new type of VR and AR headset code-named "20/20." It supposedly has a display with "human eye-resolution" quality of over 70 megapixels versus around 1.2 megapixels per eye for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Varjo (which means "shadow" in Finnish), says it achieves that feat using "patented technology that replicates how the human eye naturally works, creating a super-high-resolution image to the users gaze direction." It was supposedly developed by scientists that "formerly occupied top positions at Microsoft, Nokia, Intel, NVIDIA and Rovio." While the resolution is much higher than current headsets, the 100-degree field of view is the same.
There's a common gripe among the tech-savvy about the way they are presented by Hollywood. It's not uncommon for films and movies to create a futuristic-looking interface with holographic visuals that pop off the screen and virtual images that can be manipulated by hand. Those high-tech fabrications exist to hide the dirty secret of the tech community: While what they do may be exhilarating, it often looks incredibly boring -- more akin to a spreadsheet than Tony Stark's lab. While the choice of function over fashion may make sense for the sake of simplicity and continuity, it's also left behind those who find the presentation of coding languages to be more confusing than intriguing. The problem has hit the information technology and cybersecurity professions hard at a time when those positions are needed the most.