By Bindu Vijayan

This article is reproduced from GAVS’ enGAge magazine, Jan 2018 edition.

I was fascinated seeing a video on product unveiling thru MS Hololens, the digital mapping of the room and how the room fills with holograms, the next gen hand tracking and I went ‘wow’!  The lady in the video moved the holograms across the room in real time and space, the boxes she moved reacted using physical space simulation just exactly how they would in our real physical world.

How much of the synthetic world are we allowing into our lives – there is another superb youtube video ‘envisioning the future with windows mixed reality’ where an assistant comes up and talks to Penny asking her if she is fed up of trying to set things up, and wonders, ‘should we start a panic?’.  The same assistant then goes up to Sameer, her colleague who is in another location and says ‘Penny needs your help’ which has Sameer appearing in front of Penny as a 3D hologram helping her with what needs to be done.  The collaboration is uber cool, they are doing a design together in mixed reality. Their collaboration is so neat and visually fascinating – Penny picks up an eyedrop from the physical ceiling to graffiti the wall, Sameer mulls thru the possibility of adding a cool bamboo fountain in the room. Windows bring spatial sound, articulate hand tracking, bots help with businesses, with 3D assets, and I quickly read up how MR can enhance our real lives.

Mixed Reality offers one that freedom to move, interact and explore beyond our real-time space, with a fascinating and whole immersive experience.  Our body motions are called ‘translations’ which offers an entirely different dimension to our experience – one gets a different view when seated, a different view when you are standing… I saw an anatomy lesson in MR; it had the student taking the lungs out of a body, probe a lobe, see its minute details, choose a skull by touching the air, split it into several fragments – the temporal bone, zygomatic bone, occipital bone, parietal bone.. what a fascinating way to learn and memorize!  Especially for people who are oriented to visual learning. The images are so clear and precise in depths and other dimensions

All of us have in this magazine have tried to explain MR the way we understand, and its interesting to see how each one of us have interpreted the fascinating technology.  Its intriguing to see how a pair of lens understand the surfaces of the room – allows 3D hologram images to be placed on those surfaces to give us the immersive mixed reality, the point where polar ends (the digital and physical world) of a spectrum  meet, and the more we work on the technology the more immersive it is going to get.

Research has developed a method for translating two dimensional medical images into 3D augmented reality models so that surgeries can be planned with greater ease and precision, and the technology helps with navigating around organs.  A firm called Scopis has built the first mixed reality interface for surgeons to make spinal surgeries minimally invasive.  They claim that they help improve accuracy and speed of surgeons because the HoloLens shows them precise angles and positions of the equipment.

Just imagine a doctor being able to see a holographic image of her patient’s brain, much larger than the actual size which helps the surgeon to determine the exact spot that needs intervention.

I would never have conceived of a reality that projects synthetic things into your reality, to make life easy. It is amazing to think of the huge amount of work that goes into designing the 3D object, including reactions and behaviors to make it real and behave as how reality in the physical plane would be.

With this new reality making the perfect overlay on our physical reality, we can achieve several things inexpensively, for eg. network teams across different geos, work together, build designs together. The interaction seems so perfectly natural that people don’t feel they are interacting with a digital environment. With gestures and voice commands, teams existing several thousands of miles apart are able to work together on the same building project, expert physicians can consult on complicated surgeries across miles, it is a world so immersed with connectivity.

With the technology becoming more and more affordable, most businesses would be aided with some type of immersive technology, and as the technology builds, lending virtual overlays on almost any business from a buyer’s perspective, it can also help businesses by being able to detect faults and errors and save dollars; in other words, prevent disasters and losses.

Who would have thought we would achieve such huge paradigm shifts in our realities?  As digitization grows and strengthens, synthesizing realities aid us perform better as physicians, teachers, in the military, construction, mining and what not.

With 5Gnetworks, compute functions on the cloud and so on the technology should be able to get a lot cheaper, and that means reach almost everyone soon enough. That’s huge responsibility for those who are building the technology, isn’t it? They are actually designing how people will experience in future, and what does something like that entail? It also means huge freedom to their creativity with a huge array of possibilities and chances to see their visions made into realities. They are building on human senses and it can’t get more complicated than that; the spectrum is so very vast with human tastes and preferences, and creating experiences for everyone across the spectrum is a very demanding ask. To have to translate positive reactions into the synthesis, deepen it further in coding, wow!

Where is all this taking us, I sometimes wonder, we synthesize reality, synthesize our understanding, how true when they say that our minds will always fit what we want it to fit, the key to infinite creativity….

 

References

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality/mixed_reality

All images are picked from Google.