A new reality
Conceptualised in the 1920s as a novice pilot training device, virtual reality was popularised in the 1990s as new age gaming technology.
Virtual reality offers the user an artificial visual environment based on certain programming but isolates users from real life and only stimulates sight, leaving the four other senses behind.
A step up from that, augmented reality combines virtual reality and real life. The technology has been used as a nifty advertising strategy by many big brands from beauty product giants to famous coffee chain outlets since the early half of the 2010s.
The general idea of an augmented reality feature is that when your smart device scans a specially designed article such as an image on an advert, you can stream exclusive content or perform a certain function on your mobile device.
Tech companies are now thinking of taking augmented reality to the next level. By using your mobile device or a smart viewing device such as smart glasses, you can now not only view your e- mails as holograms right in front of your face but also interact with the hologram by navigating functions with simple swipes and flicks.
Since the launch of Google’s smart glasses, developers are pushing the boundaries of creating smart glasses that can do more than just take pictures or videos.
Meta, an augmented reality developer, is paving the way for the development of augmented reality glasses.
With the development of its second prototype, the Meta2, users can now immerse themselves in a limitless digital experience that extends beyond the domains of a computer screen and integrates with the organic environment.
Without the need of fancy hand gestures, Meta2 allows users to interact with holographic threedimensional images like they are real objects.
It also allows you to collaborate with other Meta2 users and can be used in a myriad of applications such as in education, remote control, design and medicine.
Memorable themes of exoskeletons are found everywhere in pop culture, not least in films ranging from Aliens in 1986 to Elysium in 2013. Exoskeletons are the fantasy technology everyone is looking to make into a reality.
A lot of emphasis of exoskeleton technology is put into military and weaponry development but the applications of exoskeletons have also been used in the field of medicine as a rehabilitation tool for disabled and paralysed patients.
One such company to headline in this technology is ReWalk, which is helping wheelchair- bound patients walk upright with motor guidance at the hip and knee joints.
Exoskeleton developers are now introducing the technology at a commercial level especially in construction and the handling of heavy machinery.
These exoskeletons will enable users to exert less energy when they are performing an action and also protect them from injuries while performing such activities.
Ekso Bionics, another exoskeleton developer, initially delved into producing “iron suits” for the US military but then ventured into physio- rehabilitation for people who have suffered strokes or are recovering from accidents.
They have now introduced a new line of exoskeleton devices that can aid construction workers in handling heavy equipment.
At the moment, these devices work in analogue, using simple physics to distribute weight evenly so that the user can use heavy machinery with little or no effort.
Powered exoskeletons, which require an energy source, and mechanical and electrical hardware are in the works to allow regular people to perform arduous activities with minimal manpower.
Augmented reality technology allows users to immerse themselves in digital experiences.
Exoskeletons help people walk upright with motor guidance.
Devices such as the Meta2 augmented reality glasses combine digital content and the organic environment.