An Introduction to AR Written by AI
We’re living in a future that few of us dreamed we would see so quickly.
The pace of computing innovation is astonishing and nowhere is the excitement of this as palpable as it is in AI — specifically, generative artificial intelligence.
As an augmented reality company, we have our sights set on a future that might seem farfetched now, but when it arrives, it may well slam into us with the same level of impact and excitement as we’re seeing with generative AI tools like Midjourney or ChatGPT.
In the spirit of embracing new technology and exploring frontiers, we thought we’d let the AI do the talking in this deep dive into the augmented reality industry, highlighting our vision for a collaborative, open-source solution.
Below you’ll find questions and prompts from a human and fully copy-pasted answers by ChatGPT in the quotes. For the stunning images, we have Midjourney to thank.
What is augmented reality and how is it different from virtual reality? In what way is augmented reality more useful in every day life than artificial reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that enhances the perception of the real world by adding virtual information to it. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR), which creates a completely artificial environment, AR adds virtual elements to the real world.
AR is often considered more useful in everyday life than VR because it allows people to interact with the real world while still having access to additional digital information. This can be useful in many industries such as education, healthcare, and retail.
What are the most compelling use cases for augmented reality?
The most compelling use cases for AR include:
Education: AR can help students visualize complex concepts in real time and make learning more engaging.
Healthcare: AR can assist doctors and medical professionals in diagnosing and treating patients by overlaying medical images onto the patient’s body.
Retail: AR can help customers try on clothes and make purchases without having to physically go to a store.
Manufacturing: AR can improve efficiency and accuracy in assembly processes by providing real-time instructions and information.
Gaming: AR can provide an immersive gaming experience by blending the virtual and real worlds.
What companies are creating solutions for AR and VR? In what way are they differentiating and what are the pros and cons of these approaches?
There are several companies that are developing solutions for AR and VR. Some of the major players in the AR/VR industry include:
Microsoft — Microsoft is developing AR and VR technologies through its HoloLens product line. HoloLens is a self-contained, holographic computing device that allows users to see and interact with digital content in the real world.
Magic Leap — Magic Leap is a company that specializes in creating AR experiences using its proprietary technology, Lightwear headset, and handheld controller.
Facebook — Facebook is developing VR technologies through its Oculus VR division, including the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S. These devices provide an immersive VR experience that can be used for gaming and other applications.
Apple — Apple is rumored to be working on AR technologies and is likely to integrate AR into future versions of the iPhone and iPad.
Google — Google has developed AR technologies through its Tango project, which uses computer vision to understand the real world and provide AR experiences.
The approaches of these companies differ in terms of the hardware and software used to create AR and VR experiences. Some companies focus on self-contained AR devices, while others use smartphones and other devices to provide AR experiences.
The pros of self-contained AR devices include increased privacy, greater control over the AR experience, and the ability to use AR in environments where smartphones may not be allowed. However, the cost of these devices can be a drawback, and they may not have the same level of computing power as a smartphone.
On the other hand, AR experiences delivered through smartphones can reach a wider audience, and are often more accessible due to the widespread use of smartphones. However, the quality of the AR experience may be limited by the processing power and camera capabilities of the smartphone.
Ultimately, the choice between AR and VR solutions will depend on the specific needs and goals of the user or business.
How would you modularize an AR headset? What are the essential components of an AR device, or what might be included in an MVP?
Modularizing an AR headset involves breaking down the device into smaller, interchangeable components that can be assembled and integrated into a complete system. The essential components of an AR headset might include:
Display: An AR headset must have a display system that can project digital information onto the real world. This could include a transparent display, an opaque display, or a combination of both.
Sensors: An AR headset must have sensors that can accurately track the position and orientation of the headset in real-time. This could include accelerometers, gyroscopes, and other types of sensors.
Computing Platform: An AR headset must have a computing platform that can process and display the digital information. This could include a dedicated AR processor or a general-purpose computer, such as a smartphone.
Input Methods: An AR headset must have input methods that allow users to interact with the digital information. This could include touch pads, buttons, or voice commands.
Connectivity: An AR headset must have connectivity options that allow it to communicate with other devices, such as smartphones or computers. This could include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or other types of wireless connectivity.
Power Source: An AR headset must have a power source that can keep the device running for an extended period of time. This could include a rechargeable battery or a connection to an external power source.
For an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), a company might choose to focus on a subset of these components, depending on the specific needs and goals of the product. For example, an MVP might only include a display, sensors, and a basic computing platform, with input methods and connectivity added in later iterations. The specific components included in an MVP will depend on the goals and constraints of the project, as well as the available resources and technical expertise.
Why would a company in AR take an open-source approach? What is the benefit of building a project like this with the help of a community?
An AR company may take an open-source approach for a variety of reasons, including:
Collaboration: Open-source projects can benefit from the contributions of a large and diverse community of developers, designers, and other experts. This can lead to a more innovative and well-rounded product.
Speed of development: Open-source projects can benefit from the combined efforts of a large group of developers, which can lead to faster development and a more feature-rich product.
Increased exposure: Open-source projects can benefit from increased exposure and publicity as a result of being accessible to a larger community. This can lead to a wider user base and more opportunities for collaboration.
Cost savings: Open-source projects can benefit from reduced development costs as a result of not having to pay for proprietary software licenses and other expenses.
Flexibility: Open-source projects can be more flexible and customizable than proprietary solutions, allowing users to tailor the software to their specific needs.
The benefit of building a project like this with the help of a community is that the community can bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise to the project. This can lead to faster development, more innovation, and a better-quality product. Additionally, the community can provide valuable feedback and testing, helping to ensure that the product meets the needs of its users.
What are the limitations of the current computing paradigms? How might breakthroughs in computer vision, augmented reality and artificial intelligence offer a superior computing experience?
The current computing paradigms have several limitations, including:
User experience: The current computing experience is often limited by the need for users to interact with devices through keyboards, mice, and touchscreens. This can lead to a less natural and intuitive experience.
Interoperability: Different devices and platforms often use different operating systems, file formats, and software, which can make it difficult for users to access and use their data and applications across multiple devices.
Contextual awareness: Current computing devices often lack the ability to understand and respond to their physical context and surroundings, which can limit their usefulness and effectiveness.
Breakthroughs in computer vision, augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to offer a superior computing experience by overcoming these limitations in several ways:
Improved User Experience: AR and computer vision technologies can enable users to interact with devices in a more natural and intuitive way, such as through hand gestures, eye movements, or voice commands.
Interoperability: AI-powered devices and platforms can learn from the user’s behavior and preferences, allowing for a more personalized and seamless experience across multiple devices and platforms.
Contextual Awareness: AR and computer vision technologies can provide devices with the ability to understand and respond to their physical context and surroundings, enabling them to offer more relevant and useful information and services.
For example, an AR headset could use computer vision and AI to recognize objects in the real world and provide users with relevant information and services, such as product reviews or purchase options. This would provide users with a more natural and intuitive computing experience, while also making it easier for them to access and use the information and services they need in the context of their real-world environment.
How would a more natural and intuitive computing experience provided through AR benefit humanity?
A more natural and intuitive computing experience provided through AR has the potential to benefit humanity in several ways:
Increased Productivity: AR can enable users to access and use information and applications more quickly and easily, reducing the amount of time and effort required to complete tasks and increasing overall productivity.
Improved Accessibility: AR can make computing and information more accessible to people with disabilities or limited mobility, allowing them to access and use technology in a way that is tailored to their needs and abilities.
Enhanced Education: AR can provide a more engaging and immersive learning experience for students, enabling them to visualize and interact with complex concepts and ideas in a way that is more intuitive and memorable.
Better Healthcare: AR can enhance medical training and patient care by providing healthcare professionals with access to real-time, relevant information and guidance, allowing them to make more informed decisions and deliver better care.
Improved Safety: AR can improve safety in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and maintenance by providing workers with real-time information and guidance, reducing the risk of accidents and errors.
By offering a more natural and intuitive computing experience, AR has the potential to significantly enhance the way people work, learn, and live, leading to a more efficient, accessible, and enjoyable experience for everyone.
How should an AR company plan their product roadmap in order to make their open source project successful in the short-term while also ensuring the device will be accessible to everyone, not just developers, in the long-term?
To successfully plan a product roadmap for an AR company, the following steps should be considered:
Identify target audience: The first step is to identify the target audience for the AR device, including developers and non-developers. This will help guide the development of the product and ensure that it meets the needs and expectations of both groups.
Develop MVP: An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) should be developed to test the product concept and gather feedback from early adopters. The MVP should include the essential components and features needed to deliver a basic AR experience and provide a foundation for future development.
Collaborate with the community: An open-source approach should be taken to collaborate with the community and gather feedback and contributions from developers and users. This can help improve the product, build a community of supporters, and encourage adoption and usage.
Balance accessibility and technical complexity: The product roadmap should aim to balance the accessibility and ease-of-use for non-developers, with the technical complexity required for developers. This can be achieved by providing an accessible interface for non-developers, while also offering APIs and other technical tools for developers.
Incorporate future advancements: The product roadmap should also consider future advancements in AR and related technologies, such as computer vision and AI, and include plans for incorporating these advancements into the product over time.
Plan for scalability: Finally, the product roadmap should plan for scalability, ensuring that the product can handle an increasing number of users and data as it grows. This can be achieved by designing the product with scalability in mind, and by planning for future hardware and software upgrades as needed.
By taking these steps, an AR company can plan a product roadmap that ensures the device will be accessible and useful to everyone, not just developers, while also ensuring that the product remains relevant and innovative over time.
And there you have it — straight from the mouth of AI.
We hope these prompts and answers give you insight into our vision for the future of augmented reality and computing, as well as perspective on why we’re choosing to take a light-weight open-sourced approach to building Monocle, our hackable AR device (kinda like Raspberry Pi for AR).