Right now I’m a junior mobile developer and I’m incredibly curious about where the future of mobile tech is going. Mobile has given us the power to access the internet which connects us to the global technology network. For example, now with very little effort, I can easily get directions from one destination to another using Google Maps or I can watch my favorite shows on Netflix without having to be anywhere but where I am at that point in space. The ability to use mobile tech anywhere is incredibly convenient and I can’t deny it, however there is still one big setback. We still have to access this technology through a 2D screen. This is limiting in the sense that we are humans and see in 3D and that 3D to 2D interaction is limiting. This is why I want to hopefully convince you that “Augmented Reality” is the future and technologies like the “Microsoft HoloLens” are pioneering methods to tackle this 2D to 3D challenge.
First, I want to tell you that I love mobile tech. The ability to easily make reservations via Open Table or track my finances using Mint is awesome. I love the convenience of just pulling out my phone and easily tackling a task without having to sit down at a computer. What I’m really trying to say though is this: I love mobile tech because it gives us humans a means of expanding our abilities and increasing our connectivity to the world around us.
So, now that we’ve found a convenient way to connect to the global tech network with mobile, it’s now worth asking the question, what is next? It’s a fact that mobile technology is in it’s most infant stage. Mobile, meaning modern smart phones, are barely a decade old. iOS was released in 2007 while Android was released in 2008. “Modern” mobile technology is so new! Now take a step back imagine what computers were like when they were first created in the 40’s. They occupied huge rooms that only a few select top scientists had access to. Now, a huge amount of people in the world own some sort of computer-like device. This is amazing! Can you imagine what mobile tech will be like in 70 to 100 years? I just can’t fathom it, or can I?
This is where I give you a glimpse into the future of mobile tech with the help of the HoloLens. Microsoft is doing some extraordinary work and a big project they are embarking on is bridging that gap between the 2D and 3D world. Currently, accessing a 2D screen has it’s limitations. If I’m walking down the street and I get a text message, I have to stop and look at a screen to read that message. What an inconvenience! Now, reading a text message isn’t really that bad, but that gap between taking our gaze away from our reality to the 2D reality, is a gap none the less.
HoloLens is shortening that gap between the 2D to 3D. What HoloLens is, is an augmented reality device that does exactly what it sounds like it does. It augments our reality using holograms. Now let me give you a picture of what an augmented reality looks like.
John is a developer at XYZ company. He works from home and regularly has meetings with his coworkers in his living room. They appear to be real and present in 3D there in the space. It’s as if John could reach out and touch them but reality isn’t what it seems. They actually are not in John’s living room. Although they appear to be there with him, they too are also at home and in their living rooms (or where ever they choose). They’re all wearing the HoloLens and each team member is actually projecting a holograph of themselves to each other team member. Cool right? Take a look at the picture below to see an example of something like this in real life:
The man on the left is a real human and his name is Alex Kipman. He’s actually the inventor of the HoloLens. The man on the right is Jeffery Norris from NASA. Live on the TED stage, they gave a glimpse of the reality of where mobile tech is going. That is, the ability to project holograms of ourselves into someone else’s vision.
This is huge and is a big example of how the world as we know it is going to change in a big way! Our reality through augmentation is going to lead us down a new path of possibilities of interacting with our world. The exciting thing is that this is all mobile tech! Now, I’m going to leave the rest of this story up to you to explore. Start by watching this video and you’ll see that the world we’re in now is not going to be the same in the near future.