Deep technology has always been Digital Ventures’ topic of interest. In our blog, we have several stories about deep tech. Today, Digital Ventures sits with the Perception team, one of the finalists in U.REKA’s R&D phase. They are solution developers for a desktop-based mixed reality platform. They will share about the advancement and trend of data visualization deep tech which will influence us in the near future.
Credit: AR displays and their positions. Reprinted from the work of Bimber and Rasker (2006)
What exactly are AR/VR?
Many may have heard about this name and the features of data visualization technology from the widespread VR glasses several years back. However, little do we know that the definition of AR and VR was defined since its invention 20 years ago. In 1994, Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino, leading display researchers, defined a globally-recognized scope for VR as follow:
- Real Environment is the actual environment around us that hasn’t been synthesized by any simulation technology. Milgram and Kishino use this definition so that comparison with other descriptions are simpler.
- Augmented Reality is adding in a simulated item to a real item or environment. This may help increase the reality of the data or act as an add-on to the actual item. Examples are providing the size of a product or distance from point A to B. Also, animated stickers in video calls are also included in this description.
- Augmented Virtuality is creating a simulated environment and integrating actual objects into the environment. The object or environment will have the outline of the real world so that the simulation and experience are as real as possible. Examples are simulating a room or place wherein we can still see ourselves.
- Virtual Environment is newly creating everything that we can see. It is completely changing the environment to provide a simulated experience that is not dependent on reality. Here, various entertainment contents are included such as movies or games.
- Mixed Reality is part of the abovementioned display technologies. Here, the scope is that users can interact with the simulation.
Actually, augmented reality and virtual reality are related to all human senses. However, today, we will show examples of the visual sense as it is the core research that Perception is developing with the support from U.REKA.
Display technologies in AR/VR
AR and VR displays depend on the hardware. Aside from the screens, hardware that is incorporated with AR and VR can be categorized according to their applications as follow.
- Head-attach can be VR glasses, VR contact lenses, and projectors which projects simulations from the head onto the object.
- Hand-held is operated by holding it in the hand. This can be projectors, display screens, or transparent screens. Smartphones also belong to this category.
- Spatial is installed in the actual environment to display simulations on the object. This can be screens or projectors that project simulations onto objects.
Examples of AR/VR applications
Now that we know the basic concept of AR and VR, Perception also shared examples of existing applications. There are 2 main areas as follow:
- Training and Specific Education is applying AR and VR in training specific skills that may risk lives or resources. Examples are pilot training where students can learn how to fly planes in a room or medical applications wherein students can learn surgery procedures. Here, there are augmented virtuality displays and interaction is supported by mixed reality. This will ensure that students have a more realistic experience.
- Content and Entertainment is the application with the highest potential to make AR and VR become prevalent. This is because human desire new forms of interesting content especially in entertainment which is intended for viewers’ satisfaction. Hence, it is perfect for simulation technology to stimulate feelings.
Growth trends of AR/VR
The current applications haven’t reached AR and VR’s highest potential. Therefore, Perception invites us to look into the future and imagine how this technology can develop. They mentioned that there are 3 phases. First, it is inside the research lab. Second, it is when this technology becomes a new gimmick that is demonstrating its actual applications. Lastly, it is the long-lasting phase. This is when the technology is adopted as a normal application such as with AR in pilot training.
An interesting trend for AR and VR in the future is in the manufacturing department of large enterprises where there is still room to develop. A trending solution today is AR and VR that displays real-time data of machines or tools in the production line via contact lenses. Users are able to view real-time data of the machine and tools in selected positions. This helps with production management and provides convenience when maintenance is required, especially in factories with complicated structures.
The updates on AR and VR development by the Perception team has surely visualized the applications of this technology, especially in the business sector that will surely become more widespread. Perception, one of the finalists from U.REKA, have more stories regarding this technology. Follow us for more updates on deep tech.