Next Generation Product Development Tools, Part 2

Hopefully the augmented reality video in my previous post (reLink) provided some sense of the potential for integrating tangible with intangible to facilitate product development. It goes without saying that the 3D models being used were of relatively low fidelity, but it shouldn’t require any effort for creative individuals to see the potential, especially with news out of the University of Washington of contact lenses which potentially will allow visual, virtual overlays (reLink).

“Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside,” said Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering. “This is a very small step toward that goal, but I think it’s extremely promising.”

There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle’s speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see.

Pretty clearly, mixing realities is in the not-too-distant future.

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