Summer 2016 may be marked in history as the year that Augmented Reality turned the corner in terms of widespread adoption thanks to Pokémon Go. And the experience is somewhat crude, compared to what will soon be possible in the near future. At last month’s Augmented World Expo 2016, Osterhaus Design Group gave a glimpse of the future with smart glasses that would give a hands-free experience as people hunt for extremely realistic looking Pokémon characters in the real world.
Nima Shams, VP of Headworn of the Osterhout Design Group describes the hardware platform as being able to replace the three traditional screens (e.g. TV, PC & mobile). As specified, it is more powerful than traditional screens, as described in ODG’s press release prior to AWE 16
“The Platform will be able to dynamically switch between VR and AR modes, delivering 4K 3D at up to 120 frames per second (fps) in a sunglasses form factor, surpassing the physical pixel density of every screen in your home (TV, PC, tablet, phone). As a result of the collaboration, the system will beam holographic rendered AR/VR images into the viewer’s eyes with full adaptive opacity for occlusion and realistic lighting in mixed reality experiences that fit naturally into the real world.”
In the above video, Jules Urbach, CEO of OTOY, explains how he has worn these glasses for hours as part of his company’s development effort. OTOY is enabling light field and streaming technology to ODG’s Horizon Platform, allowing realistic rendering and overlay of 3D characters onto the real-world.
“The addition of OTOY’s rendering and cloud services will enable the platform to beam the equivalent of 8K HDR TV streams with wide color gamut and amazing contrast directly onto your hand, wall or phone. With dynamic real-time lighting and hybrid cloud-rendering the platform will display the most sophisticated and photorealistic content anywhere you want to see it in the real, or virtual world.”
As Shams suggests and can be glimpsed at with the racing car in the above video, the lines between reality and the virtual reality start to blur with these glasses. That ODG is backed by 20th Century Fox Film, it is reasonable to expect that there will be entertainment and applications are sure to follow (think of the advertising possibilities of being able to insert virtual items into the real world). Pokémon Go is one application that would definitely benefit from relatively low-cost, comfortable and high-performance headsets from the ODG/OTOY combination.