The meteoric technological advancements in the last couple of decades have opened a broad spectrum of opportunities for development in every aspect of life. A significant portion of this change can be attributed to Virtual Reality. It is a computational and cognitive force that can be employed in educational programs, medical research, military applications, construction theories, gaming industry, featured marketing presentations and countless other fields.
Multi-dimensional lifelike holographic projections in real-time can broaden the horizons of game development and user experience. It opens new dimensions in the cinematic and entertainment industries. It also assists in providing firsthand experience to the apprentices in the education department with the erudite. Surgeons can practice there nascent and embryonic skills with lifelike projections of human anatomy in a virtual environment. Space travel can be simulated for commercially providing a feel of the cosmos to the general public. Projects like virtual shopping malls are also under ongoing development.
It is a promising prospect that may transform the world as we know it, however, developing a whole separate environment can be logistically demanding, burdensome and commercially expensive. A more viable option is Augmented Reality.
Augmented reality is a concoction of elements developed virtually and superimposed on a digitally processed replica of the real world locale. While VR allows users to wholly immerse in a digitally produced reality, AR presents an amalgam of virtual elements with components of real life. With a head-mounted optical display of Google glasses and an autonomous car like Waymo, many more projects are being pursued in AR.
Augmented Reality can help with providing a 3D heads-up display, a real-time virtual model of streets with to-the-scale projections of the surrounding and a visual inertial odometer to prevent distance errors and to provide an enhancement to the traditional Global Positioning System (GPS). Interior decorators can try different combinations of furniture sets in a 3D cyanotype of a room, effectively eliminating the guesswork. In urban planning, authorities and community leaders can effectively evaluate the various combinations of architectural structures and simulate their effect on the environment and traffic using AR. New constructions can also be simulated with the existing structures to provide assistance to build, design and construct them when remodeling cities. It can be applied to any field in the education department, Students can study the design of any part with a holographic projection and a functioning simulation; be it a V-12 engine, a human heart or the structural positioning of domes and arches.
AR can assist in registering a virtual presence in the physical space during calls, taking video calls to a whole other level. Lectures too will be made with a virtual presence in classrooms. It will also change the way strategies are made in war zones and help in simulations of effective deployment of troops in various terrains. Target practice will become more sophisticated with the digital monitoring of real-life effects of damage and the efficiency of defense. 3D heads-up display can equip aircraft with terrain management and a list of possible threats assisting aerial warfare.
The holographic reality is relatively in its infancy but the leading entrepreneurs find it capable of bringing a whirlwind of change with adequate development and investments that are already being made to sufficiently help it develop and prosper.
By: Arif Khan
(First printed in ‘Fiction 2018’)