Over the past few years I’ve been working on a wide range of projects that use Vuforia within Unity. For those of you who don’t know what Vuforia is, it’s a bunch of highly sophisticated libraries that allow you to track a physical image or object (called a target) in which you can augment digital content on-top of it.
It’s pretty cool stuff that allows you to do very exciting things with your mobile device! However, whats even more cool is digital eyewear! There are a bunch of digital eyewear technology that works with Vuforia, including the Microsoft HoloLens! This lets you to view your content as if it were in your environment in a much realistic way due to the fact that the computer is essentially projecting the digital content into your eyes, instead of viewing on a mobile screen!
A part from the HoloLens, and the huge price tag they’ve slapped on it (for development release), I’m currently looking for a more affordable piece of hardware in terms of optical projection.
Epson Moverio BT-300
Who knew Epson didn’t just make printers? Indeed, they also have a production line for digital eyewear, some affordable, others not so much. The Epson Moverio BT-300 is their latest product (release date TBC).
The eyewear comes equipped with dual OLED micro projectors that allow for the display of 3D content with a binocular resolution of 720p as well as a 5m pixel camera. The camera allows you to feed your scene into Vuforia, which in turn allows you to track and place digital content into your environment, augmented reality!
It also comes equipped with a head tracking sensor that allow you move 360 with the computer knowing of your rotation.
The eyewear is powered and built on an Android device. The device is basically like a powerful smartphone, but without a screen – instead it has a touchpad like surface with buttons and a scroll wheel.
I’ve always wanted to get my hands on some tech like this! Just to play around really and see what interesting projects and ideas I can come up with. Hopefully, when these start rolling off the production-line, and into the commercial stream I just might be able to do just that!
This technology is very useful, especially when you’re in a hands on field that requires training and exercise, such as being on an oil rig, gas maintenance, commercial electrical maintenance, military, etc.
You can use the headset to augment instructions as well as 3D animation and content to help the user through the training exercise, not only that but you can send the live camera feed to a coach, manager or captain in whereby they can review and give feedback on your progress.