Microsoft’s forthcoming AR headset, HoloLens, is at the forefront of this technology. The company calls it the first holographic computer. In AR, instead of being surrounded by a virtual world, viewers see virtual objects projected on top of reality through a transparent lens.
“With a computer or tablet, we always have to look at a screen. … The technology is always in between the people. With HoloLens, the technology very quickly becomes invisible, and we have seen groups of people have very intense interactions around models that are completely digital — they aren’t really there.”
Virtual reality, like the new Facebook Oculus and HTC Vive, completely immerse you inside a computer generated world. It’s like being inside a 360-degree video game, or movie, or computer-generated simulation.
according to a report in The Information today, Google’s long-term bet is on augmented reality. The company is making not one but several follow-ups to Glass, and has a project called “Tango” that aims to outfit smartphones with computerized “eyes” that can map a 3D space.
Microsoft’s HoloLens prototype has all the innards of a computer built directly into the headset. That means no cords or even a smartphone required.
Just as VR rivals Oculus (owned by Facebook) and Google are trying to reimagine virtual experiences with their head-worn devices, Microsoft wants us to imagine a world without screens, where information merely floats in front of you.
When a PC or a game console runs this virtual world, the GPU chips play an unexpectedly large role, taking so much of the burden off the main processor.
For decades, the processing power available from individual computer chips increased every 18 months or so, according to the oft-quoted Moore’s Law. But in recent years, this trend has begun to slow, even as modern software applications demanded far more processing power than ever before
Companies and coders are now moving workloads off the main CPU and onto a wide range of alternative processors. If they can’t get enough processing power from a single chip, they need many.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has already build a specialized processor for its Hololens augmented reality headset to help the device keep track of your movements, among other things. In the end, this is yet another example of computing tasks shiftings off the CPU and onto something else.
We’re now seeing a move toward mid-range, standalone VR headsets with everything built into the device. Some include their own processors, while others, like the forthcoming Microsoft headset, will work with current desktops. Microsoft’s device claims to do both VR and a modified version of mixed reality
The low end of the VR spectrum has been dominated by Google Cardboard, with over 10 million distributed
AR burst into the public’s consciousness with the Pokemon Go craze in 2016. And Snap (formerly Snapchat) expanded the range of their social media platform with the release of Spectacles, their wearable glasses and World Lens filters that add digital objects to your environment. A second version of Spectacles may include far more extensive AR capabilities.
At Facebook’s spring F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg made the case that our mobile cameras will be the first popular AR platform. Apple just announced ARKit for iOS at their June WWDC developers conference.
Meta Glasses has been developing its own mixed reality unit that offers a wider field of view than the 40° of HoloLens. And Intel’s Project Alloy promises a “Merged Reality” headset prototype combining both VR and AR by the end of this year.
Aryzon which is creating a Google Cardboard-like device for simple AR experiences. Another is the NOLO Project, which offers an HTC Vive-like experience with full freedom of movement using only a plastic headset and your phone.
Digital Bodies cofounders Emory Craig and Maya Georgieva for an interactive session that will examine five developments in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality with the greatest potential to impact teaching and learning. Ask your questions live as they explore how groundbreaking developments in VR, AR, MR, and artificial intelligence will power immersive technologies and transform learning.
Maya Georgieva, an ed tech strategist, author and speaker with more than 15 years of experience in higher education and global education. Georgieva is co-founder of Digital Bodies, a consulting group that provides news and analysis of VR, AR and wearables in education
Microsoft has been collaborating with its partners, such as HP, Acer, Dell and Lenovo, to develop VR headsets that will work with lower-end desktops. Later this year, the companies will debut headsets for $299, “which is much more affordable compared to HoloLens
many Kickstarter crowdfunding efforts are bound to make high-end headsets more accessible for teaching.
the NOLO project. The NOLO system is meant for mobile VR headsets and gives users that “6 degrees of freedom” (or 6 DoF) motion tracking that is currently only found in high-end headsets.
2) Hand Controllers That Will Bring Increased Interactivity
new forms of human-computer interaction (HCI) such as augmented reality (AR),virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).
combining AR/VR/MR with cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies (such as machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and chatbots).
Some thought-provoking questions include:
Will remote workers be able to be seen and interacted with via their holograms (i.e., attending their meetings virtually)? What would this mean for remote learners?
Will our smartphones increasingly allow us to see information overlaid on the real world? (Think Pokémon Go, but putting that sort of technology into a vast array of different applications, many of which could be educational in nature)
How do/will these new forms of HCI impact how we design our learning spaces?
Will students be able to pick their preferred learning setting (i.e., studying by a brook or stream or in a virtual Starbucks-like atmosphere)?
Will more devices/platforms be developed that combine the power of AI with VR/AR/MR-related experiences? For example, will students be able to issue a verbal question or command to be able to see and experience walking around ancient Rome?
Will there be many new types of learning experiences,like what Microsoft was able to achieve in its collaboration with Case Western Reserve University [OH]? Its HoloLens product transforms the way human anatomy can be taught.
p. 22 Extensive costs for VR design and development drive the need for collaborative efforts.
Case Western Reserve University, demonstrates a collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic and Microsoft to create active multi-dimensional learning using holography.
the development of more affordable high-quality virtual reality solutions.
AR game developed by the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences [Austria] (http://www.fh-salzburg.ac.at/en/) that teaches about sustainability, the environment and living green.
Whether using AR for a gamified course or to acclimate new students to campus, the trend will continue into 2017.
Google Expeditions This virtual reality field trip tool works in conjunction with Google Cardboard and has just been officially released. The app allows teachers to guide students through an exploration of 200 (and growing) historical sites and natural resources in an immersive, three-dimensional experience. The app only works on Android devices and is free.
Flippity This app works in conjunction with Google Sheets and allows teachers to easily make a Jeopardy-style game.
Google Science Journal This Android app allows users to do science experiments with mobile phones. Students can use sensors in the phone or connect external sensors to collect data, but can also take notes on observations, analyze and annotate within the app.
Google Cast This simple app solves issues of disparate devices in the classroom. When students download the app, they can project from their devices onto the screen at the front of the room easily. “You don’t have to have specific hardware, you just have to have Wi-Fi,”
Constitute This site hosts a database of constitutions from around the world. Anything digitally available has been aggregated here. It is searchable by topic and will pull out specific excerpts related to search terms like “freedom of speech.”
YouTube a database of YouTube Channels by subject to help educators with discoverability (hint subjects are by tab along the bottom of the document).
Zygote Body This freemium tool has a lot of functionality in the free version, allowing students to view different parts of human anatomy and dig into how various body systems work.
Pixlr This app has less power than Photoshop, but is free and fairly sophisticated. It works directly with Google accounts, so students can store files there.
uild With Chrome This extension to the Chrome browser lets kids play with digital blocks like Legos. Based on the computer’s IP address, the software assigns users a plot of land on which to build nearby. There’s a Build Academy to learn how to use the various tools within the program, but then students can make whatever they want.
Google CS First Built on Scratch’s programming language, this easy tool gives step-by-step instructions to get started and is great for the hesitant teacher who is just beginning to dip a toe into coding.
Lenovo’s prototype headset is compatible with Microsoft’s Windows Holographic platform. Like the HoloLens, its design features depth-sending cameras located on the front of the device, allowing full-room movement tracking.