We often use the terms augmented reality and virtual reality interchangeably. But how are they different?
Vision is so important to humans that almost half of your brain’s capacity is dedicated to visual perception. It’s no surprise that hyperscalers such as Meta, Microsoft, and Apple have bet on augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) – starting with augmented vision – to become the new machine-human interface. Since our eyes are the second most complex organ after our brains, it makes sense for AR/VR to replace personal computers and smartphones. However, many technical hurdles remain in electronics (the brain) and optics (the eyes). In my first blog post on trends in imaging design, I discussed how digital twins will foster mass customization and data optimization through end-to-end simulation of imaging systems, from manufacturing and testing to user experience virtualization. In this blog post, I will focus on how AR/VR is driving innovation in imaging design. Whoever thought that digital twins include only mechanical, thermal, or electrical components are missing the need for AR/VR systems to develop disruptive, optical, smart imaging systems.
In the early years of computing, the most common data types were text and numbers. During the last 20 years, we have seen an exponential increase in the use of multimedia data types such as images and videos. In 2017, over 1.2 trillion photos were taken with consumer electronics, and multimedia data accounts for half of the data generated and consumed worldwide. The growth of image data is a direct consequence of the dissemination of imaging systems in multiple domains, from medical systems to smart mobile devices, automotive to manufacturing, and aerospace to defense and security.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) applications and devices are fascinating to me. The “what if” possibilities for the applications in the future are endless. Products such as Microsoft HoloLens and Oculus Rift headsets generate excitement and interest from so many people.