Mixed Reality. A new Change is coming. And its big.
2016 was the year of Virtual Reality (VR). With the emergence of so many players in the market be it Oculus with their rift headset or HTC with its Vive platform or even Sony’s Playstation VR, the possibilities were endless. Of course, each platform had their own niche market to captivate and ultimately Sony emerged as a clear winner with over a million units sold. But 2016 wasn’t all about VR because towards the end of the year, enter (Augmented Reality) AR who stole the spotlight in the blink on an eye.
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But AR has been around for quite sometime now so how is it that a proprietary technology suddenly generates a lot of buzz? You see, that is where Mixed reality comes into the picture. Microsoft launched the HoloLens headset which was way ahead of its time combining Augmented Reality in actual physical environments generating a more immersive experience than ever. Then over a period of time, other OEM’s like Lenovo jumped the Windows Mixed Reality band wagon launching their own line of headsets.
So, what exactly is Mixed Reality?
As the name suggests its basically a combination of virtual and augmented reality technologies. This basically combines a virtual environment with the actual environment we are currently present in to create immersive experiences within the field of gaming, traveling, business presentations and so on. You will find a world where physical and digital creations actually interact with each other in real time. Fascinating. I know. It’s the next big thing, a sort of mega bonanza of an evolution in the way we interact with our devices.
With so many players in the market, there’s got to be someone who’s doing things a little differently with mixed reality, right? Correct. That is where Magic Leap enters the picture. A company that has finally emerged out of all the negative personas, controversies, ridiculous amount of funding from companies like Google, Qualcomm and many more. 7 Years later and close to 2 Billion Dollars in funding they’ve finally unveiled their uber ambitious mixed reality headset. Though its only the developer kits that start shipping out next year it’s a big step in their journey in obtaining full control of the mixed reality market.
According to a report by Rolling stone, Magic leap intends to launch the headset in two sizes. One with fixed standard dimensions and one customized to your requirements. The device comes with a trio of supporting attachments such as the controller and the light pack which technically is the heart of this device. The lightpack is said to be as powerful as a fully loaded laptop with a dedicated graphics card. It includes four built in mics, about six cameras and speakers for a more thrilling feel.
Magic Leap hasn’t been very clear on the pricing of their rather extravagant product but one needs to understand the product still isn’t ready for the end consumer just yet. The company is trying to get more developers on board to deliver rich content and experiences that will change the way we interact with technology in general.
One thing the company has been mum about is privacy. The problem with immersive devices like these is that there’s so much of user data being acquired, it becomes extremely creepy that the company has access to what you see and hear. Yes, as time goes by, there are laws that govern these sort of things, but how much can we trust these companies to keep our information safe?
There’s no doubt companies like these have a lot of potential but not at the expense of our privacy.