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Augmented Reality

Microsoft Shows Off the Hololens 2 at MWC 2019

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Microsoft announced the new Hololens 2 AR headsets that are priced at $3000. The device is designed for factory workers, industrial designers and military personnel. 

The Hololens 2 has a new look, eye tracking and double the field of view. It also makes room for glasses, if you wear one.  Preorders are open now and it ships later this year.

Check out the video below to know more:

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Snapchat Brings the Saudi UNESCO Heritage Site to Life with Augmented Reality

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Snap Inc. has collaborated with the Royal Commission of AlUla to bring a new dimension to the Desert X AlUla art exhibition, with the first sponsored Landmarker in the Middle East.

During the event, artists Zahrah Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia), eL Seed (Tunisia) and Lita Albuquerque (United States) will feature their work on Snapchat’s inaugural the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Landmarker location, Qasr Al Farid. The artists’ work will be brought to life using a dedicated lens, creating an exciting augmented reality (AR) experience for everyone to participate in.

“We are excited to have Desert X AlUla, the first international collaboration for Desert X, as part of Winter at Tantora festival,” said Nora Aldabal, Arts and Culture Programs Director at Royal Commission of AlUla. “Artists from around the world will showcase their art in the desert of AlUla, home to a series of fascinating historical and archaeological sites. Having Snapchat participate in this landmark event will bring the landscape of AlUla to life in an entirely new light, in a juxtaposition of modern technology and history.”

To enable the feature, when Snapchatters are close to Qasr Al-Farid they will be prompted to find the icon of this landmark. Royal Commission of AlUla’s sponsored lens will be the first placement in Snapchat’s lens carousel, and as Snapchatters point their phones’ cameras at Qasr Al-Farid, they will be able to bring to life the work of the three exhibiting artists over a 6-week time span at 2-week intervals each. Each experience is specific to the artist’s work and will have its own unique sound to come full circle.

“I am thrilled to be among the artists whose work will be uniquely displayed on Qasr Al-Farid using a Snapchat Lens,” said Zahrah Al Ghamdi, one of the exhibiting artists at Desert-X AlUla. “This amazing feature will transform my artwork into an interactive experience. Augmented reality has become an integral element that brings art to life and provides people with an unparalleled experience.”

Introduced in 2019, Landmarkers are Snapchat Lenses that enable augmented reality experiences that transform the world’s most iconic landmarks in real-time.

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Augmented Reality

Lenovo Mirage AR to Power Marvel Dimension of Heroes

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Following the successful launch of Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, Lenovo and Marvel will immerse fans in one of the world’s most beloved franchises with the new Marvel Dimension of Heroes, available only on Lenovo Mirage AR. This new smartphone-powered augmented reality experience lets players harness the powers of six legendary Marvel Super Heroes in an original story which sees them take on infamous Super-Villains standing right before them in their own living rooms.

Players download the free Marvel Dimension of Heroes app onto a compatible smartphone, and with the power of the Lenovo Mirage AR headset and new dual Universal Controllers, they can embark upon an adventure spanning three full-fledged modes and an incredible variety of augmented reality playstyles. With the new controllers, players can use both hands to punch, slice and blast their way through exhilarating battles, while ducking and dodging enemy attacks, thanks to Lenovo Mirage AR’s freedom of movement.

Lenovo Mirage AR also allows continued play of the hit experience Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, letting you use the new Universal Controller to engage in lightsaber duels, command troops in battle, and play Holochess. In Marvel Dimension of Heroes, players wield the legendary weapons and powers of Doctor Strange, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Star-Lord against a host of augmented reality Super-Villains.

The game is playable across the following three modes:

  • Play through an original Marvel story in Story Mode, in which the Dread Dormammu, Lord of the Dark Dimension, launches a surprise attack on Earth with his alliance of Super-Villains, including Loki, Ronan the Accuser, Ultron Prime, and the Winter Soldier. With the Earth in ruins, Doctor Strange manages to turn back time to secure a second chance to save the planet. Players assume the role of all of the game’s six playable Super Heroes to battle the interdimensional forces that threaten the world.
  • Survival Mode lets players use their heroic powers, playing as any of the game’s six heroes, to fend off waves of powerful enemies. Players compete to achieve the highest score and rise up the game’s global online leaderboards.
  • Finally, players can also partner up with a friend in Co-Op Mode, where they each play as a Marvel hero battling the forces of evil side-by-side in the same room, while competing against each other for high scores. (Each player must be equipped with the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, two Universal Controllers, a Tracking Beacon, and be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Each player must also download the latest version of the Marvel Dimension of Heroes app on a compatible smartphone. Players are recommended to stand side by side in the same direction, facing the Tracking Beacons about 4 feet away).

Lenovo Mirage AR consists of the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, dual Universal Controllers, and the Tracking Beacon, offering immersive control over both Marvel Dimension of Heroes’ array of weapons and superpowers, as well as the various modes of Star Wars: Jedi Challenges. Lenovo Mirage AR experiences can be downloaded to a variety of compatible Android phones and iPhones. Players purchasing Lenovo Mirage AR can install Marvel Dimension of Heroes and Star Wars: Jedi Challenges at no additional cost on a compatible smartphone.

“Lenovo Mirage AR with Marvel Dimension of Heroes is another milestone demonstrating Lenovo and Marvel’s shared passion for bringing rich, immersive consumer experiences to life through smarter technology. After years of close collaboration with Disney starting from Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, we’re excited to expand this incredibly fun and interactive experience for more gamers and especially Marvel fans to enjoy,” said Johnson Jia, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Business of Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo.

Users begin by downloading the Marvel Dimension of Heroes app onto their compatible smartphone and inserting it into the tray of the Lenovo Mirage AR headset. The lightweight headset senses the user’s movements during gameplay, aided by a Tracking Beacon placed on the floor to serve as its fixed reference point in physical space.

No more sitting idly staring at a screen. Now players can engage and fight their enemies in free and natural motion through the headset’s inside-out positional tracking (enabled by two built-in fisheye sensors). The headset pairs with the Lenovo Mirage AR Universal Controllers, which are worn over the knuckles to give players an empowering sense of control over their weapons and superpowers.

The controllers also allow for complex hand and wrist motions that combine offensive and defensive moves, and its control buttons are dynamically adjusted to function on hold release or press, allowing for intuitive open hand gestures and control of complex artillery. As a result, each one of the six Super Heroes feels like a completely distinct character and playing experience, with entirely different move sets and controls.

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Augmented Reality

Irish VR Firm to Bring the Latest in Ed-Tech at GESS 2019

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Irish virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) software firm, Immersive VR Education (IVRE), will showcase its latest offering to the virtual reality education market when it exhibits its ENGAGE Platform at the GESS Dubai Education Expo, at Sheikh Saeed Halls, Dubai World Trade Centre, from February 26th – 28th. GESS is one of the largest education expos in the world and will see over 15,000 of education professionals from 92 countries attend the 3-day event.

VR Education will be on the ground throughout the event and will be on hand to speak with attendees and demo the platform. Those in attendance will be able to participate in a high-octane VR educational experience.

VR Education CEO and Co-founder, David Whelan, will be a guest speaker at the event. Speaking ahead of their attendance, Mr. Whelan said, “Attending GESS Dubai will allow us to put our ENGAGE platform in front of some of the leading education professionals and tech-innovators in the world, and to showcase exactly what it can do. I am honoured to have been asked to speak at the event and I’m going to use it as an opportunity to really drive home the exponential benefits that VR can offer the world of education, and how, the ENGAGE platform can change and improve the way we educate future generations – making best-in-class learning more accessible to children and students around the world.”

ENGAGE is an online virtual social learning and presentation platform. It is a powerful virtual reality collaboration and creation tool, allowing educators and corporate trainers to host meetings, classes, private tutorials, training sessions and presentations with people from all over the world, participating in a safe, virtual, multi-user environment.

It is designed to either complement and enhance classroom teaching, or for use in a standalone environment, providing distance learners with access and opportunities to connect at a new level with their fellow students. 

Whelan went on to speak about VR Education’s ‘mission’ in the education sector, “We want to be the company at the forefront of mainstreaming VR technology in education. ENGAGE is at the cutting edge of this technology’s usage in the education sector.  It is uniquely placed to do two things. Firstly, help educators visualise how the technology can positively impact their profession and their ability to influence students’ participation and performance and secondly, become synonymous with education and training technology, in the ‘learning space’ which can be applied anywhere – whether it is in an interactive museum, a second level school, a university, or a corporate training setting. Our ENGAGE platform aims to fully immerse the user into their learning experience, in order to increase learning retention and engagement. It will allow people to receive the best education, from the best educators from around the world, all from the comfort of their own home using virtual reality.”

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