Immersive technologies have been here for a while and the one goal that everyone is striving to achieve is to bridge the gap between virtual world and technology. Owlchemy Labs has taken us a step further in that direction with its recent tool that attempts to break the stigma of VR being a lonesome affair. With its AR Mobile Spectator tool VR is now a shareable experience via smartphones. It’s an augmented reality camera that works on tabs and mobile phones and will let people interact with the user experiencing virtual reality through AR.
Previously when someone would play in virtual reality others would feel left out but with this tool everyone else is also involved in the experience with the AR component calibrated on their devices. Essentially, it helps you be a part of someone else’s virtual world. However, for it to work PC, smartphone and headset need to have a perfect coding harmony.
An AR item is made out of a smartphone by Mobile Spectator (MS) app when these devices are calibrated. Third person image through personal computer is rendered as the app tracks the mobile’s position. Image on AR-ed mobile (playing the role of an additional augmented reality camera) is rendered to personal computer. Image is then encoded and sent back to mobile where it is decoded and displayed in real-time on the screen.
Although its hard to pin down how exactly it’ll pan out, MS without a doubt enables people to have a shared virtual reality experience on both receiving ends. It doesn’t just let you view virtual world but affect it too. Even in its initial stage, MS has mixed realities in the best way possible.
With latency issues and substantial performance hits to mobiles and PC, AR Mobile Spectator is not without its flaws. However, it is definitely an interesting breakthrough and shows a gripping potential with its role-switching interplay.