Today’s reality is tomorrow’s Mixed Reality.
Envisioning a world where mixed reality is common place. In this new 5G world you can dial up a holographic video call with your potential business partner while visiting your favorite coffee shop. While you both explore the schematics for a new prototype your company is developing; you could gather from his facial expressions, his interest or lack thereof and the emotional pull your prototype might have on him with “Emotional AI” developments from companies like iMotions.
This new era of spatial computing could not only save you a flight to let’s say China (where your potential business partner works) but also would allow you to get the edge on his thoughts and impressions of your new product before he even says a word.
While there are many advantages, one must always think of both aspects and while emotional privacy might be on the out in the near future, connectivity seems to be the main focus.
So what is mixed reality and just how does it relate to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)? A simple diagram below gives you an idea of the spectrum but let me explain further.
Mixed reality is a hybrid of the virtual and the real world but with the added feature that users can interact with the VR images appearing in their real environment all the while having other sensory experiences such as reading emotions or feeling the VR assets by using Haptic technology. This makes game play feel real; when you can “touch” the images you see, the connections feels legit and the experience itself takes on a whole new level of illusion.
This mixed reality works from a simple to complex mapping of our environment and the overlaying of the virtual world into our everyday life. This new world could be called a digital frontier and it is geared to encompass our lives (think 5G and the “internet of things” ) faster than you might have expected with 5G geared to roll out by 2020.
As humans we have strived to find new territories throughout our history. We have conquered many frontiers but the lands that lay before us today might just be a digital frontier and like our predecessors before us, some companies are looking toward this new frontier with dreams of what “gold” may lay ahead.
- In 2016, only 28% of the general public was aware of virtual reality devices, demonstrating the industry’s potential for growth. Awareness of virtual reality devices rose to 51% in 2017. (Nielsen, 2017)
- 41% of adults said they would give virtual reality a try if given the opportunity.
- (Yulio Technologies, 2018)
- 44% of the people interested in purchasing VR devices are between the ages of 18–35. (Yulio Technologies, 2018)
- According to a survey with 140 respondents in the VR and AR industry, 41% feel that the biggest obstacle blocking mass VR adoption is user experience issues, such as bulky hardware or technical glitches. (Perkins Coie LLP, 2018)
- 44% of respondents feel that the primary legal concern with VR adoption is consumer privacy/data security. (Perkins Coie LLP, 2018)
- 62% of parents agree that VR offers educational experiences for their children. (Tech Trends, 2018)
- 66% of consumers are interested in VR shopping experiences. (AR VR Journey, 2018)
- Games earned 55% of VR software revenue in 2017. (SuperData Research, 2017)
- By 2025, the worldwide user base of AR and VR games is expected to grow to 216 million users. (NewGenApps, 2018)
- 50% of millennial consumers expressed favorable interest in virtual reality connected to a gaming system. (Singularity Hub, 2015)
Some of the digital pioneers in spatial computing that are digging for that “mixed reality gold mine” are nreal with their latest “Black Mirror” inspired (MR) glasses as well as Magic Leap, Alphabet Inc.’s, Google and Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp.
These are just a few of the heavy hitters currently developing products for this new frontier of mixed realities. Some areas that these companies are focused on are Entertainment, Education, Commerce, Military and Medical advancements.
FOR PART 2. DIGITAL FRONTIER
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About the Author:
Lori Hammond, CG Circuit
Author & Content Producer
Experienced multi-talented Artist/Designer/Blogger with an extensive background in the Arts & Entertainment Industry(Animation, VFX, Game & Product Design) https://www.linkedin.com/in/lhammond/