Meanwhile in Boca Chica
SN7.1 finally pops.
Microsoft will spread its eyewear for the wealthy (or corporate sponsored) across more countries, and has said it is seeing action in NASA's repeatedly delayed mission to the Moon. While astronauts don Varjo VR headsets for training on Boeing's calamity capsule, the CST-100 Starliner, Lockheed Martin has gone down the HoloLens …
Obviously those tasks are cherry-picked, but it sounds plausible. If you're building something for the first or only time (as opposed to a production line when workers have a chance to become more efficient on each subsequent build) then how much time is spent referring to the specs as opposed to actually welding a spanner? Quite a bit.
Even when helping my nephew build a brand new Lego model, most of the build time is spent looking at the instructions, finding the correct part from amongst others, and then verifying said part against the instructions to make sure it's a ten-knobbler and not an eight-knobbler. These tasks are amenable to being aided by an AR system.
Virtual reality is all well and good, but decent haptics and a bit of force feedback are essential for it to be truly immersive. The Register donned the Teslasuit Glove at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week.
We looked at Manus VR's Prime Haptic gloves in 2019 and while the accuracy and haptics were impressive, the sensation of gripping something in a VR session was lacking once one pushed past the nudging pads.
Facebook owner Meta's pivot to the metaverse is drawing significant amounts of resources: not just billions in case, but time. The tech giant has demonstrated some prototype virtual-reality headsets that aren't close to shipping and highlight some of the challenges that must be overcome.
The metaverse is CEO Mark Zuckerberg's grand idea of connected virtual worlds in which people can interact, play, shop, and work. For instance, inhabitants will be able to create avatars to represent themselves, wearing clothes bought using actual money – with designer gear going for five figures.
Apropos of nothing, Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg is leaving the biz.
In October 2021, Cisco announced WebEx Hologram – an augmented reality meeting experience that promised "photorealistic, real-time holograms of actual people" and the chance to "share physical and digital content".
Today I tried a prototype of the service, and can report it is … intriguing.
Participating in a WebEx Hologram session requires donning a VR headset, to which end Cisco offered me a Microsoft HoloLens 2. I found the current model pleasingly light and comfortable, and calibrating it took just a few moments of flicking my eyes towards some virtual objects projected into my field of vision.
Column For the past six months I've been staring at the backside of my iPhone 13 Pro wondering what possessed Apple to build a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) camera into its flagship smartphone.
It's not as though you need a time-of-flight depth camera, sensitive enough to chart the reflection time of individual photons, to create a great portrait. That's like swatting a fly with a flamethrower – fun, but ridiculous overkill. There are more than enough cameras on the back of my mobile to be able to map the depth of a scene – that's how Google does it on its Pixel phones. So what is Apple's intention here? Why go to all this trouble?
The answer lies beyond the iPhone, and points to what comes next.
Alibaba's DingTalk collaboration suite has entered "extended reality" with a new offering powered by smart glasses.
DingTalk offers messaging, video conferencing, and other collaboration tools.
Released yesterday, "DingTalk XR" extends the DingTalk experience into what the company has called "extended reality" by running on smart glasses from an outfit called Rokid.
The HoloLens 2 has been around long enough some might see a reduction in the often-cited high pricetag. In this case, it's educational institutions eligible for a 10 percent price cut.
Customers with long memories might remember something similar happening with HoloLens 1 shortly before the augmented reality visor was replaced by its updated sequel.
Researchers at Facebook parent's Meta have trained a single AI model capable of processing speech, images, and text in the hope that these so-called multi-modal systems will power the company’s augmented reality and metaverse products.
The model, known as data2vec, can perform different tasks. Given an audio snippet, it can recognize speech. If it’s fed an image, it can classify objects. And when faced with text, it can check the grammar or analyse the writing’s tone and emotions.
AI algorithms are typically trained on one type of data, though data2vec is trained on three different modalities. It still, however, processes each form, whether its speech, images, and text, separately.
Microsoft has bragged about how its HoloLens 2 is being used by doctors to assess care home residents in a COVID-safe way.
One might wonder if the elderly haven't suffered enough during the pandemic without throwing Microsoft's Augmented Reality technology into the mix. However, with rules and guidance making in-person appointments a little tricky, having a staffer don the goggles while a doctor looks on remotely is not a terrible option.
Microsoft unveiled the follow-up to its clunkier predecessor in 2019. At the time there was much rejoicing concerning 3D models and collaboration. Recent events have made that remote collaboration pitch seem somewhat prescient.
Ignite Microsoft is extending, as a public preview for now, Azure Virtual Desktop to Azure Stack HCI so that if you want to host remote Windows desktops on your own on-premises equipment using this service, well, you can.
Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) provides remote Windows desktops, and it predates the introduction this year of Windows 365.
Whereas Windows 365 is a per-user VM that is designed for easy set up and billed per month irrespective of usage, AVD is a more flexible but more complex service, offering pooled desktops and the ability to scale up or down according to demand.
Interview At its recent Ignite event, Microsoft rolled out a preview of Azure Container Apps, a managed service for deploying containers with features including scale to zero.
It uses Kubernetes behind the scenes, supplemented by Dapr and KEDA.
The Azure cloud already provides various ways to run containers, including Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for a full Kubernetes deployment; Azure App Service, which can run both Linux and Windows containers; and Azure Container Instance, which can be used standalone or for adding burst capacity to AKS without adding servers. What is Container Apps offering that is new?
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