HoloLens, Windows Holographic, HPUs

Hold onto your hats, the vapor might actually be real! At least we hope it is.

Interesting things from Microsoft’s announcement:
- a self-contained visor that augments reality
- a see-through holographic display mechanism
- adding AR support to Windows and major applications
- a special processor for handling the reality and the augmentation (the “HPU”)

Spending billions on R&D can and does pay off royally — sometimes.

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Squeezing More Lens Into Your VR Headset

Gizmodo posted a fantastic article about the VR platform and content being developed at Magic Leap. At the core of what may drive their augmented reality tech is a new kind of lens for scanning and projecting.


Scanning laser projectors sweep one or more beams of luminance-
modulated light in a scan pattern to form an image. The approach
offers a number of advantages in the construction of 3D displays,
compared with conventional matrix-based display technologies
such as LCD, DLP, and OLED. Because the image is formed by a
single scanning pixel rather than an array of pixels, scanning laser
displays can enable significant display miniaturization that is
decoupled from display resolution.

Source: 3D Displays using Scanning Laser Projection
Brian T. Schowengerdt, Richard S. Johnston, C. David Melville, Eric J. Seibel Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

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Dutch Defibrillator Drone

There’s an interesting article on Nerdoholic about a flying defibrillator.

The drone tracks emergency mobile calls and uses the GPS to navigate. Once at the scene, an operator, like a paramedic, can watch, talk and instruct those helping the victim by using an on-board camera connected to a control room via a livestream webcam.

Drones can clearly be more than a way to convey the material; they can also project the expertise of an emergency medical professional. There are many imaginable cases where it would be difficult to pre-position materials and expertise that would be required to save a life, from floating devices to blood clotting agents to chemical burn treatments.

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Firebase + Google

Big news, summarized by TechCrunch: Google Acquires Firebase To Help Developers Build Better Real-Time Apps

Firebase and Google need each other in order to make real-time happen in a way that is economically viable. The scale Google can provide cannot be understated and will be discussed endlessly.

From my amazing and hellish rapt.fm experience I learned that home-brew real-time apps — even if depending largely on open-source infrastructure — are very, very difficult to architect, to build, and to run reliably in scale. Firebase provides a “lower initial investment” way to run alive apps, and a huge community of developers have come to love their stack.

One obvious risk to using Firebase is lock-in (as with any service-framework amalgamation), and now this lock-in could include developers having to move to the Google cloud at some point. But this is also a reduction of risk; many who have invested development in Firebase can now be assured that for a longer span of time their system will be supported.

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