XenoHolographic – AR Evolved
By Rodney Guzman and Tim Huckaby
The potential and bold promise of AR has gotten a lot of folks excited. With the constant barrage of press coverage and press releases, it can be confusing to understand where AR is today and where it is going. As a new company focused on the software tools needed to exploit AR experiences, we are constantly asked to interpret the noise, to translate the press, and to parse out the truth. Truth is a matter of perspective, and ours is rooted in years of creating interactive holographic experiences. We have made certain bets in AR that are bearing fruit. Like most, we never wanted to create experiences that would require a dependency on a single hardware platform. After all, who creates a mobile app for iOS and not for Android? The same analogy applies to holographic hardware. For example, no one should be thinking about creating an experience specifically for a single device like the Microsoft Hololens. Our bets are not on unique hardware devices, but on filling specific gaps we believe exist for all companies who want to deliver software based interactive AR experiences.
We see strong parity in the capabilities that Apple and Google are providing to their phones for AR experiences.
Although many of us will have to upgrade to the latest phones to enjoy these experiences, Apple and Google have come a long way to deliver AR to the masses. As a consumer, you can download an AR app to your phone and experience AR right in your living room. In an AR app, you pick a surface (such as table) that you want to put down your AR content, and then you can use your phone as a window to the holographic world. This is the simplest form of AR and will be what most consumers will experience in this first generation of technology, but there are also many limitations. This type of AR has the danger of being a fad and the danger of solely covering gaming use cases. Once a consumer has experienced AR with their phone, their expectations will be set on what it has to offer. What can AR truly deliver beyond just being cool to look at? Why does it even make sense in my living room? And what about in the enterprise? Not many are thinking beyond infancy of AR technology right now, but XenoHolographic is.
Like in VR, there will be tremendous investment in AR to deliver these types of lightweight mobile AR experiences.
Companies will be spending millions on building apps and content for people to see their products and solutions in 3D through their phones. This type of AR is not in context of a location, but in context of the user. True AR is about augmenting reality and not just putting 3D content conveniently in front of you in your living room. For example, what if Toyota wanted to demonstrate how amazing their safety systems are to their consumers? With a lightweight mobile AR experience in your living room, you would having to digitize the safety systems AND the car. Just like in VR, you could experience this anywhere where you run this app. This is just a glorified representation of last year’s VR apps that VR developers will recycle as something new in AR. The true power of AR is to augment a real car with the digitized safety systems. This is putting the AR 3D content in context of the location, and not in context of the user. This is much harder to accomplish, but XenoHolographic is well on its way to delivering on both user and located-based experiences.
When a company wants to deliver a holographic experience on a phone, it is a significant investment.
In addition to developing 3D content, mobile apps will be created for iOS and Android with their respective AR toolkits. With these toolkits, companies can only have user centric AR experiences (and not location-based ones). The apps are deployed to mobile app stores, and then a company must communicate the existence of these apps so their consumers can enjoy them. We believe there are too many steps here that will stunt the adoption of AR. What if a company did not have to build any apps and just had to develop content? What if there was a single app on a phone that could see all holographic experiences everywhere? Companies could upload their 3D content to the cloud, and that content would be loaded onto a phone where someone could experience it. Additionally, with location-based holographic experiences, companies will be able to easily create scenes in environments for potential consumers. When a consumer enters that environment, they are automatically notified that there is a holographic experience for them to enjoy. In the enterprise, when an employee is required to do a training or to meet compliance objectives they are automatically notified of a required, interactive holographic experience to witness.
XenoHolographic plans to reduce the friction for consumers AND companies to deliver interactive holographic experiences. The software technology we are building will make this a reality.
The future of AR is intoxicating. There will be always be a mixture of phones and headsets and new categories of devices that can produce holographic experiences. Eventually, many of us will be walking around with eyeglasses that also support AR. We believe this is much sooner than anyone thinks, and we are preparing for it. We also believe that, eventually, the room will produce the experience and there will be use cases where AR glasses are not required. At XenoHolographic, we will be ready.
Our holographic world will be something akin to the Internet, but in 3D space.
We are thinking beyond a single room’s experience. When surfing the Internet, there is machine knowledge of who you are and what sites you have visited, so your online experience has content delivered to you based on that simple paradigm. What if interactive AR content could be delivered in context of where you are physically? What if it could be delivered to you while you are walking around in a city you have never been in? It is coming, and XenoHolographic is building it.
XenoHolographic is not a hardware company, and we need companies to be pushing the envelope on AR toolkits and pushing the creation and adoption of AR devices in order for us to see our vision turn into reality.
We welcome and are excited about all the AR announcements from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and many others. While being agnostic to hardware is valid, we do choose favorites in software platforms and will continue to do so. Others have made the same software choice for delivering unique interactive and immersive AR experiences – Unity. Unity is a layer of 3D development technology that has been universally embraced for AR app development by the hardware vendors. All XenoHolographic solutions have taken this dependency to make our solutions as widely available as possible.
The future is bright in AR, and XenoHolographic is here to help evolve it. For more information, please contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org.