Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two prevalent and rising technologies chased after by a lot of major corporations and researchers due to its high potentials to improve customer experiences. It’s not exaggerated to say that all branches of knowledge or application benefit from the introduction of it and everyone want a little piece of this technological titan.
Luckily, we had the chance to attend the world’s largest exhibition of AR/VR technology, 2017 Augmented World Expo (AWE) Asia on July 25. Only hailing in China for the third year, the expo has actually been running 8 times in the States with three divisions, AWE Asia, AWE Europe and AWE USA.
The AR/VR Expo
Dongguan was the only southern city of the three hosting stops (the other two were Beijing and Xi’an), due to its strong AR/VR industrial background. Around 30 exhibitors, from Guangdong and overseas, showcased their latest products and impressive achievements.
Continuous speeches were delivered by top engineers, scholars, industry insiders and CEOs. Some big names, such as Steve LaValle, the Vice President of Huawei Group and Chief Scientist of VR/AR/MR, gave their thoughts about the development of the industry. However, we’re more interested in talking with exhibitors to understand their business.
AR/VR in Education
First, we came to our friend Isaac’s company at exhibition hall 1. Wosai Technology Co. Ltd is specialized in researching, developing and selling products and services using AR and holography technologies. As a very young company founded just last year, they’ve been promoting several self-developed products including AR educational materials, AR & 3D display system for property and auto sales, holographic projector, special 3D effect image design and so on.
The usage of AR in the educational environment is not an alien thing recently, especially when considering the multimedia and interactivity nature of AR application, which proves to be a lot more immersive and engaging learning than its traditional counterpart. One of Wosai’s coloring books, AR Magic Book, enables vivid automated cartoons magically jumping up and down on the page before your eyes, and adds much more appealing interactive games for the little ones so they are never bored to learn new things.
One of Wosai’s coloring books, AR Magic Book, enables vivid automated cartoons magically jumping up and down on the page before your eyes and adds much more appealing interactive games for the little ones so they are never bored to learn new things.
AR/VR in Interior Design, Drawing & Wearable Display
Specifically, one company has brought interior design dreams into life by utilizing VR, something 3D imagine cannot offer. Interior design VR allows you to be a part of your own design story, creating a virtual world so real that you feel you are physically present in a space that only exists in your imagination.
A Lithuanian company called SketchAR offers great help for drawing beginners and professionals to trace sketches using AR. Their app allows you to scan the environment, whether a paper or a wall, and fix the virtual image over the real surface. You just need to follow the lines from your phone and conveniently finish a drawing.
Several exhibitors focus on VR/AR technology development in areas like games, entertainment, animation; Quite a few devote themselves in the global hype of smart glasses. Since the launch of Google Glass, developers have been trying to create their own wearable display glasses. Instead of just being able to take a photo or video, smart glasses have the potential to do so much more.
Silicon Valley-based company Vufine created a tiny screen attached to the side of your glasses. It integrates with your smart phone, laptop or drone and provides a second monitor or mirrored display to watch a video, play Pokémon Go or read maps, whenever you need an extra screen hands-free. But the biggest drawback is the HDMI cable that used to connect with your device. Who is still using a cable in the tech of the 21st century?
Brighterwave Inc from Finland has just received €2.2 million grant to develop the next generation VR/AR/MR eyewear for consumers and industrial use. The biggest feature is that it just looks like a normal (sun)glasses with light weight and excellent image quality. Other than this, it seems that all the functions remain the same as Google Glass.