Q&A

Ex­pe­ri­ences with­out re­stric­tions.

HWM (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS - by Mar­cus Wong

Justin Quimby, Google

What’s aug­mented re­al­ity to you?

To me, it’s the abil­ity for a phone to take the real world and add dig­i­tal com­po­nents to it. There are a few cat­e­gories of aug­mented re­al­ity (AR) ap­pli­ca­tions; like gam­ing, education and shop­ping, and each of them is slightly dif­fer­ent. In a game like Hot Wheels

Track Builder, for ex­am­ple, AR lets your phone act as a win­dow into a dig­i­tal play­ground, where you can lay tracks down to race dif­fer­ent Hot Wheels cars. In terms of shop­ping, AR al­lows you to pre­view shop­ping items be­fore you buy them, and since the phone is able to track po­si­tion down to a cen­time­ter level of ac­cu­racy, you’re able to see the ob­ject at real scale. So you’ll be able to see just how that chair fits in your liv­ing room, for ex­am­ple.

Do you see par­al­lels be­tween vir­tual re­al­ity and aug­mented re­al­ity?

I see vir­tual re­al­ity as a com­plete re­place­ment of the real world, where you have a head­set that takes over your en­tire field of view. So, it’s a com­plete im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence. Aug­mented re­al­ity is chang­ing the real world. You’re still in­ter­act­ing with the real world, and they have dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences, but also com­ple­men­tary.

What uses do you see for aug­mented re­al­ity in the fu­ture?

Well, there’s no sort of ‘end­state’ for aug­mented re­al­ity. That said; the use of im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences for education through Tango has al­ways been on our roadmap. It’s some­thing we want to en­able and make hap­pen.

There are dif­fer­ent styles of learn­ing that peo­ple have – vis­ual learn­ing, au­di­tory learn­ing, and then there’s also kines­thetic learn­ing, where peo­ple learn by do­ing. One of the great things that Tango al­lows for is you can ac­tu­ally move through a space, look at a dig­i­tal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of an ob­ject, and in­ter­act with them in a way that would be very dif­fi­cult to do in a tra­di­tional mu­seum en­vi­ron­ment.

When the tech­nol­ogy drops away and you’re hav­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence di­rectly? That’s the magic.

There could be whole cat­e­gories of ex­pe­ri­ences that don’t ex­ist on Tango to­day that devel­op­ers could dis­cover and take ad­van­tage of. As more peo­ple come and ex­pe­ri­ence the ex­hibits, and other mu­seum creators read about it more, peo­ple will start think­ing, “What can I use this for?” and new con­ver­sa­tions will be­gin. That’s ex­cit­ing!

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