Why You Should Build an App for Mixed Reality

December 15, 2016 | Raj Srivastav

I know, I know, you’re just getting used to Augmented and Virtual Realities and now we’re throwing another reality at you. But we would be remiss in our duty to keep you up to date on the hottest trends in tech, and that includes apps for Mixed Reality!

But first we should clarify the differences between these three Digital Realities.

1. Virtual Reality

VR is a wholly new reality existing solely in a Digital Environment. Think Tron or The Matrix. When we work on VR app projects, we encounter unique hurdles, like compensating for binocular disparity and disorientation. But we believe that VR apps are going to be a multi-billion dollar industry by the end of this decade – and then they will really take off!

2. Augmented Reality

AR is basically a digital overlay of actual reality. This is the less sexy version of VR but has the potential to be worth even more as an industry than VR. While Apps like Pokemon Go are all the rage right now, AR apps have the most potential in the field of business. Think about it: We can build an AR app for your business that provides digital information just by looking at your factory line – and provides you with ways to directly interact without ever pulling out a device.

3. Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality is (you guessed it) a combination of both VR and AR. MR keeps its users firmly grounded in actual reality, but adds virtual elements to it. This is the driving impetus behind Microsoft’s Hololens. This differs from Augmented Reality because MR is supposed to create virtual elements that are indistinguishable from actual reality. AR makes virtual elements as an overlay; there is no attempt to make it seem like part of the real world.

All three Digital Realities are in their relative infancies, but MR is brand new. In fact, we really know nothing about the major companies that are tackling this issue. Except of course that they are some of the most closely watched Startups in tech.

Magic Leap was recently called “the World’s Hottest Startup” by Wired Magazine and Forbes called it “the Hottest Ticket in Tech. But we know virtually nothing about this company, other than its base in South Florida; and of course that it’s a Unicorn startup, recently valued at 4.5 billion bucks. In fact, it just raised nearly a billion back in February, bringing its total investment up to $1.4 billion (including a hefty sum from Google – you may have heard of them…).

So what does that alone tell us? Well, it means that VCs – people who make money by anticipating tech needs in the future. And that the world’s biggest tech company thinks that they have something.

But since its founding, Magic Leap has operated under massive secrecy, to the point where employees were barely allowed to even say the company existed. For years, it was hard to even understand what applications could even come from MR. However, the Wizard finally gave us a peek behind the curtain.

This Wizard happens to be Rony Abovitz, CEO of Magic Leap. Abovitz recently gave an interview, where we finally learned a little of this innovative and disruptive Startup, including the fact that they are preparing to move past the Prototype phase and will be soon making their tech available to the general consumer.

Abovitz calls his project a “new kind of contextual computer.” Basically, Magic Leap has created optical hardware. This hardware, which will eventually resemble transparent glasses, will literally send an image directly into your retina. It replicates how the human eye views images naturally, thus making projected images indistinguishable from the normal world. It doesn’t block your view and isn’t a massive piece of hardware.

The applications for this are quite literally incomprehensible. Navigation apps will direct users by project arrows directly onto the road itself; Computer screens (and screens in general) will be a thing of the past. Anything we normally interact with visually can be projected into our eyes. More than that, the hardware is constantly collecting data.

Everything from where you’re directing your eyes or head, to recording and analyzing your external environment (sounds, objects, images, etc). This makes it an interactive piece of technology that is your constant digital guide, providing details and information on whatever you need. This isn’t a Gadget like Google Glass. This is, like Abovitz claimed, a new computer and a new way of interacting with the digital world.

This is big news to the entrepreneur out there. We’re standing at a crossroad, a change that will likely surpass (and replace) the Smartphone in disrupting the world of Human-Computer Interaction. For more than 15 years, SDI has studied how new technologies disrupt the market; the one thing we can say is that disruption always also means opportunity.

We also know that while MR and Mixed Reality will change how we think of computing, we will still need apps to make the world go ‘round. And we’re even seeing the tools to make it happen, with Microsoft releasing a Dev Kit for its own Mixed Reality (they’re pretty insistent that it’s MR, not AR) platform, HoloLens.

So to answer the question posed by our headline, You should start your own MR App Startup because it’s likely to upturn the entire world of technology. What if you knew the day before Steve Jobs announced the first SmartPhone how drastically the world of computing would change in less than 10 years? How much money would you have in the bank today?

Want to get a head start on your own MR app project? Give us a call at 408.805.0495/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

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