Mixed realities

Experiences without restrictions

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Experiences without restrictions.

<b>Picture</b> Google
<b>Picture</b> Google

What’s augmented reality to you?

To me, it’s the ability for a phone to take the real world and add digital components to it. There are a few categories of augmented reality (AR) applications; like gaming, education and shopping, and each of them is slightly different.

In a game like Hot Wheels Track Builder for example, AR lets your phone act as a window into a digital playground, where you can lay tracks down to race different Hot Wheels cars. In terms of shopping, AR allows you to preview shopping items before you buy them, and since the phone is able to track position down to a centimeter level of accuracy, you’re able to see the object at real scale. So you’ll be able to see just how that chair fits in your living room, for example.

Do you see parallels between virtual reality and augmented reality?

I see virtual reality as a complete replacement of the real world, where you have a headset that takes over your entire field of view. So, it’s a complete immersive experience. Augmented reality is changing the real world. You’re still interacting with the real world, and they have different experiences, but also complementary.

What uses do you see for augmented reality in the future?

Well, there’s no sort of “end-state” for augmented reality. That said; the use of immersive experiences for education through Tango has always been on our roadmap. It’s something we want to enable and make happen.

There are different styles of learning that people have – visual learning, auditory learning, and then there’s also kinesthetic learning, where people learn by doing. One of the great things that Tango allows for is you can actually move through a space, look at a digital representation of an object, and interact with them in a way that would be very difficult to do in a traditional museum environment.

When the technology drops away and you’re having the experience directly? That’s the magic.

There could be whole categories of experiences that don’t exist on Tango today that developers could discover and take advantage of. As more people come and experience the exhibits, and other museum creators read about it more, people will start thinking, “What can I use this for?” and new conversations will begin. That’s exciting!