When plain ol’ reality just doesn’t cut it anymore
New visual technologies have always been the most interesting to me because of the sheer improvements each generation brings. Think about it, audio is great, but quality comparisons are entirely subjective and there really hasn’t been anything that’s made as significant an impact since MP3s came around and revolutionized digital audio more than 20 years ago.
Visuals however have gone from strength to strength. From black and white to color; from 16 colors to 16 million colors; from 480p standard definition to 4K ultra high definition; from 2D to 3D. Today, science fiction is being realized, where one can step into and interact with believable digital worlds through virtual reality.
However, what I’m really excited about is the nascent augmented reality (AR) industry. There have been many attempts to bring AR to the consumer space and Google’s efforts have probably been the most publicized, from the short-lived Google Glass back in 2013 to the smartphonebased Tango of today.
What’s so great about AR anyway? At the very basic level, AR provides real-time information overlays to real-world environments, giving us instant, reactive data points. More advanced AR, such as Google’s Tango employ multiple sensors that can analyze environments in full 3D space, which is the closest we’ve come yet to mass market robotic sight enhancements.
Now, that’s cool, because I’ve always wanted Terminator vision.