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Insights EDU

20XR: A Glimpse into the Next Decade of AR – Part 2/2

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Stephen Black | AR Producer/Consultant & Writer | blacksteps

27 Dec 2019 | 3 min read

1. A dragon flying over South Korea & A giant raven terrorizing Baltimore!

Guarding their huge nests, these creatures, enabled by 5G, are swooping, screaming and scaring sports fans, The raven, created by The Famous Group for the Baltimore Ravens football team, and the Elder Dragon, created by Riot for the 2017 League of Legends Final, are spectacular examples of AR.

Stadiums have no walls, glass or trees to weaken the 5G signal. Even human bodies can weaken a 5G transmissions, but stadiums are positioning their transmitters to avoid this problem. In non-stadium areas, it is likely that “boosters” will be needed to restore the signal strength lost due to walls, windows and trees.

5G is associated with fast download speeds videos and zero latency, but it is much more than that. 5G is an evolving phenomenon, in which software apps replace hardware. Cybersecurity is an important issue, as are technical standards, both of which are now being studied. Politics and business interests also are shaping the future of 5G.

More and more cities are getting at least partial 5G coverage, and the handful of 5G ready phones are being joined by others. In short, 5G is both a revolution, and an evolutionary process. The world will not become 5G overnight; the transition from 3G to 4G took about eight years.

2. AR on the road: bikes and cars

5G, AI, AR and autonomous vehicles will continue interacting with each other, with the successful results moving from test tracks to driveways and highways. The ‘holy grail’, in which fleets of cars and trucks move like schools of fish may be far off, but section by section, vehicles are being fitted with AR and AI.

Collision detection on bumpers, AI on brakes, and windshields with AR displays to oversee it all. Self-parking cars have been on the market since 2013, and their abilities have expanded; some cars now function like valets. Taking AR, AI and the idea of transportation to the extreme, Nissan has showcased an avatar passenger, a digital traveling companion you can talk to.

In a few years, look for communication between geoposts at intersections and the AR apps on board vehicles. The geoposts will be able to drive the vehicle, based on traffic, weather and road conditions.

The automobile industry can benefit from watching the rapid evolution of AR products for cyclists.

Bicyclists have an immediate need for safety and training products. Helmets, visors, wristbands and training devices are already utilizing the advantages of AR. Bicyclists, regardless of location, require ease of use and minimum distractions. Heads Up Devices (HUDS), allow riders to stay focused on the road, as maps and other information are displayed in visors or AR glasses.

For the Tour de France, NTT used a combination of 3D modeling and AR which allowed viewers to see, in their homes riders ascending and descending realistic digital mountains based on 3D satellite maps.

More examples here of AR/bike interaction here.

As AR is actually a worldwide stage for spatial computing, it will be possible, even sometimes necessary, that we see information in 3D; volumetrically. Leo has done this as fun entertainment. Ikea pioneered the ability for customers to put 3D models of furniture in their homes. Minecraft is another example of how volumetric data, ie 3D models, are used in AR. Companies like Scandy give users the ability to scan objects with their iPhones to create 3D models. And, companies like 6d.ai, allow individual users, or teams of users, to create 3D maps of spaces. These types of companies are pioneers, creating possibilities that we can barely imagine.

3. Kura Gallium

The Kura Gallium AR glasses will be game changers; they have the specs that the AR world has been waiting for. To begin with, their field of view is three times larger than that of the Hololens. Plus, the Gallium has 8K resolution, 95% transparency, unlimited depth of field and a brightness that works outdoors.

“If they can pull it off — and that remains a big if — this startup will have created a product with specifications years ahead of all known public competitors, including Microsoft, Magic Leap, and Nreal.” – UploadVR

I believe they have pulled it off. Kura is a small company with an indomitable spirit. Listen to the ARShow podcast with Kura’s founders, Kelly Peng and Garrow Geer. The podcast is impressive, refreshing and inspirational. If you are serious about AR, give it a listen; there is no better way to begin the decade.

About the author:

Stephen Black is a producer/writer/visual artist. A bestselling author, his latest book is Bubiko Foodtour's Unusual Guide to Augmented Reality. Bubiko Foodtour, co-created with Sayuri Okayama, has been featured at presentations worldwide, including TechCrunch Shenzhen, MIT and Hong Kong PolyU.

Stephen Black has lived in Asia for many years. He is now in the United States, bootstrapping to complete an AR app. Bubiko is on Instagram and Twitter.

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