One could argue that software development is more important than hardware at least for the moment, for the augmented reality experience. As a viable augmented reality headset has yet to emerge for the broader mainstream consumer market, the same devices that enable SMS and selfies are currently making AR experiences easy to use. Even some utilitarian smartglasses targeting enterprise enterprises are running on Android, which is another indication of the dominance of existing mobile platforms.
Perhaps this is more proof of how powerful mobile devices have become, but even the most powerful headset is just a paperweight without a compelling software experience. Consider the breadth of augmented reality experiences available today, and it's becoming obvious that creating a truly magical AR app is not easy. It needs technical skills, creative content, design expertise, business know-how, great ideas and comprehensive implementation. We've seen great ideas that lie on their faces through lackluster content. A flawlessly coded app still can not gain momentum due to a confused interface.
What leads to another complexity of developing AR, namely that we can project digital content into the real world does not mean that we should always do it depending on the real world context. The same game that makes a user fun on a 2D screen may not have the same effect in AR.
Yet, the 3D content tools used to create realistic video games and immersive virtual reality experiences are largely the same ones used to create augmented reality experiences. As a result, Unity and Unreal are the engines behind most AR apps. As these engines become more sophisticated, ARs are experiencing their ability to turn our world into something fantastic. At the same time, tools emerge that democratize development and make it easy for non-programmers to create AR experiences as easily as they would a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation.
The app developers on this list have shown their understanding of the difficulties involved in balancing the qualities of a good app and applying those attributes to augmented reality. From the apps to the tools developers use to build them, the following are developers of NR30 software, executives and entrepreneurs who make our AR dreams come true.
Tony Parisi ̵
In a way Tony Parisi (pictured above), Unity's global brand for VR / AR solutions represents the collective consciousness of the AR and VR community. As a veteran In the field of immersive computing, Parisi was a pioneer in the 3D world long before anyone outside the lab seriously considered using AR and VR in everyday life, and as co-founder of Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML) in the 1990s, helped many Developers and end users to gain their first experiences with virtual objects in personal computer environments.
Today, Parisi sits on the most popular development platform for truly immersive AR and VR experiences, and at the same time acts as a cheerleader for immersive computing with a passion and dedication a commitment that disproves his years of work in space, whether you're working with HoloLens, Magic Leap and Meta 2, or Oculus Rift and HTC Vive t the big chance that you use Unity. While some polls set the number of developers using Unity at more than 60%, Unity claims that about 90% of AR and VR companies use their platform at some level.
Last year, the company quickly added support for ARKit and ARCore. Earlier this year, an official partnership with Magic Leap was launched to help developers launch the new AR headset. Back in 2015, ahead of the Oculus GO, and ahead of ARKit, Parisi wrote a post, wondering why no one built the "iPod Touch of VR". Even then, Parisi realized that mobile is the future of immersive computing. And similar to VR for decades, Parisi already positions Unity for the day when mobile immersive computing is omnipresent.
"I do not want my primary phone to be in a VR headset," Parisi wrote. "I want it to make calls, and all the other things it already does, so I'd rather have another device." What this device will be is unknown – Magic Leap, Apple Glasses or anything else – but one thing is clear, whatever it is, Parisi will be there, probably a few steps ahead.
We talked to Parisi about what drives his devotion to AR space. Here are his easily edited answers.
Describe the first time that you experienced AR or VR
I had the privilege of seeing a demo of the VPL system as a VR pioneer Jaron Lanier my wife Art school in 1991! It was rough – very low polygon scenes and a very big, lumbering device – but it showed the possibilities. Just a few years later, inspired by VPL, I came to the VR myself, working on the technology that brought 3D to the Web without headsets (VRML).
The moment you knew AR was the future?
Although I've worked in Immersive Tech for more than two decades, I've been skeptical of the widespread use of AR by consumers. Sure, there were convincing industrial and enterprise-specific use cases, but a lot of the consumer-oriented work I saw fell flat, literally they were just 2D images superimposed on the camera …
All the good stuff (true 3D AR ) happened on high-end headsets like the HoloLens and meta-hardware, which meant it was not nearly enough to experience it. Only with the announcements from ARKit and ARCore last summer did the light bulb go on for me. Now we have true AR technology scalable to seamlessly integrate all 3D content into our environment using the device you already have in your pocket.
What do you like most about currently available AR hardware or software?
Right now I have two frustrations that I hope will be resolved soon. With AR headsets like HoloLens, Meta and Magic Leap, we're still early: every system has limitations that prevent it from being ready for full-time use, and prices are still high. With phone-based AR, the price is right, but the form factor also limits the longer usage, ie keeping the phone for an AR experience is something you can do for maybe a minute or two, about the same time as you can Use your phone to record a video or stream an event live. The answer to these two frustrations will be Smartglasses …
Then you have a form factor that allows for full-time consumer price usage. I'm not a hardware expert, but the predictions range from three to ten years when such glasses will be available. Until then, we will continue to work with what we have, learn and refine craft as a creator, and educate the consumer and business market about the wonders and benefits of 3D and augmented reality.
What is the most important thing that happened? AR in the last 12 months
Undoubtedly it was the introduction of ARKit and ARCore. With these technologies, we have the first platform that can deliver both Apple and Android ecosystems immersive content on a large scale. Yes, it is limited in comparison to what can be done with a headset or possibly with smart glasses. But it's in the bag today on the phone.
Michael Abrash – Facebook
While Hugo Barra manages Facebook's augmented reality efforts from an entrepreneurial perspective, Michael Abrash, chief scientist at Facebook Reality Labs, oversees the evolution of the technology itself.
Interestingly, Abrash earned his undergraduate degree in geography from Clark University in the 1970s, though he spent much of his free time (and, according to his own Indications, some of the time he should have studied) on programming. He continued his studies in the Ph.D. Energy Management and Policy Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also began developing video games. After earning $ 8,000 royalty from Datamost, Inc. for his first released game, Space Strike, he broke out and began his career in video game development, which included the seminal Quake game. On March 28, 2014, Abrash was introduced to Oculus as senior scientist following his Quake cohort, John Carmack, who serves as the company's chief technology officer. Just three days before Abrash's arrival, Facebook announced it would acquire Oculus.
In May of this year, Oculus Research changed its name to Facebook Reality Labs, reflecting its mission to develop augmented and virtual reality technology for Oculus and others Facebook. Much of the group's published research continues to focus on VR, but innovations such as six degrees of freedom, advanced signal processing for light field properties, and head-face display face recognition are a good harbinger for visiting AR Smartglasses. The group already has one Patent developed.
Kyle Roche – Amazon
Prior to 2017, Amazon's augmented reality efforts were comparatively low compared to other top tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook. Nonetheless, Jeff Bezos' company received great response last November with the unveiling of Amazon Sumerian, led by General Manager Kyle Roche.
Roche, who has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Mexico and another in information technology from the University of Phoenix , was co-founder in 2011 of Chris Chiappone -based company launched in 2013 a platform for enterprise-connected devices, one of whose well-known customers Honeywell belongs. According to TechCrunch the startup also developed a facial recognition technology that triggers actions based on the identified age and gender.
Amazon acquired 2Leometry in 2015 and transformed the company into its Amazon Web Services organization; Both founders stayed aboard, with Chiappone acting as software development manager
The duo led the development of Sumerian, and the job advertisements in June 2017 indicated that the platform would soon follow.
Roche already had his knowledge of AR's topic in 2011, when he published a book for Apress entitled Pro iOS 5 Augmented Reality . In this book, Roche leads readers through the creation of augmented reality apps with MapKit, accelerometer, magnetometer, face recognition, and Facebook data.
The Sumerian platform, now open to all interested users, is part of a growing segment of development tools Designed for non-programmers to create immersive experiences.
Keiichi Matsuda – Leap Motion
Most of us have introduced Keikichi Matsuda in 2016, when he published Hyper Reality the concept film, which painted a futuristic world full of augmented reality advertising, the whole cities covered in a nightmarish kaleidoscope of virtual advertising photos. Since then, short film has become an integral part of conversations about AR and what it might look like in a possible future. The film was so impressive that Matsuda joined Leap Motion in the last months of 2017 as vice president of design and creative director of the company.
Matsuda works in a large team of innovators at Leap Motion and has developed into one of the first windows of what the company creates. Over the last few months, Matsuda has been tweaking initial insights into some of the AR experiments the company is working on, from stunning interface developments to open source platforms that allow anyone to design their own AR device using Project North Star. Even though he's only part of a team working on these developments, Matsuda's preference for imagining the future of AR has captured many in the immersive computing world.
Now with his talents within the Leap Motion team, which was already the case for delivering innovative immersive computing innovations, Matsuda has found the perfect platform to imagine something bigger and help the rest of us to introduce yourself to him.
We spoke with Matsuda about his imaginative AR approach and some of the inspiration behind his vision. Here are his easily edited answers.
Favorite movie about the future of AR or VR? Much of the aesthetics for VR was established in the 80s and 90s with Tron The Lawnmower Man and Star Trek 's holodeck. My 15-year-old spirit has melted when The Matrix came out. Although I'm really nostalgic for all these movies, I think that my favorite VR shot is probably in Summer Wars because it's not built to replace our physical world, but exists as something completely new. There are so many great films in this genre, but VR novels beat VR movies. Vernor Vinges True Names is a favorite of our CTO David Holz and required reading at Leap Motion.
What you dislike most about currently available AR hardware or software?
It's frustrating for me The industry is so hardware-obsessed. The experience of AR sometimes feels like an afterthought. This feels strange to me and has led to an industry that does not pursue a strong product vision or purpose. We need to make the technology available to more developers and designers outside technology giants. And we need to invest time to properly investigate the kind of experience we want to build, rather than plunge into land grabbing to set up walled garden ecosystems and app stores.
Robert Sumner – Disney Research
Chairman and CEO of Disney Bob Iger May Style the Company's Role in Favoring Augmented Reality to VR, Robert Sumner, Associate Director at Disney Research, is driving the company's innovation advancing AR technology.