For years, we’ve come across various industry pundits trying to pinpoint the one device or technology that will change the way we use computers forever. Nothing much has changed for several decades since we’re still using a mouse, keyboard, and a screen.
The products we use today have done a great job to keep us both productive and connected, but there’s something on the horizon that could shake up the computing world forever. For those who are wondering, it’s called Augmented Reality, and yes, it’s definitely a reality today.
Augmented Reality is the next big thing
Ever since Oculus came on the scene with the Oculus Rift, many folks played with the notion that Virtual Reality would become an integral part of our lives. Since then, several VR devices have hit the market, but up to this day, one has managed to impress in any meaningful way.
So far, only the PlayStation VR headset appears to have gained some footing, but despite that, there’s no quality video game content.
When it comes down to augmented reality, it’s a piece of technology that is perfect for mass market appeal. For instance, AR devices do not block the entire view of the user, so folks can enjoy what it has to offer while attending to their day-to-day lives.
Users have the options to pin apps within the real world and move them around at will. Furthermore, with AR, there’s no need for a computer monitor seeing as the user has the ability to pin a media player or even a web browser on their wall.
Regarding gaming, the experience is not as immersive when compared to Virtual Reality, but it is there. However, we wouldn’t expect many game developers to target AR due to the platform’s connection to the real world. It just wouldn’t be practical for most type of video games unless a huge change in game design is discovered.
But what about Mixed Reality?
Mixed Reality is a blend between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. The user wears a VR device that is capable of performing some tasks similar to AR. For example, it’s possible to take advantage of some apps designed for AR, and the headset has a neat feature that scans a room to allow the user to move around freely.
It’s great, but at the end of the day, folks wearing a Mixed Reality headset are still trapped in a virtual world, and as such, it can’t be ideal for regular everyday use.
Which company is poised to change the computer industry with AR?
Several major companies are currently playing around with AR. Still, it would seem as if Microsoft is at the head of the pack with HoloLens. It’s an AR headset designed to give consumers the Windows experience over their heads.
The device is not yet ready for mass market release since it’s being sold for $3,000 and is primarily targeting developers and business owners. Already, doctors are looking at HoloLens as a means to perform spine surgery. This is made possible by Scopis holographic technology, so it’s clear the product is gaining some traction.
Now, we must stress that Microsoft is the type of company to have the technology but not the first to bring it to a mass market, henceforth, Apple is the likely candidate to popularize Augmented Reality.
Then again, Microsoft is a different company under CEO, Satya Nadella, so anything is possible.