On Tuesday May 2nd The Microsoft Reactor hosted A New Reality: How Virtual and Augmented Reality are Shaping the Future. The panel discussion was part of Philly Tech Week and marked the opening of the Reactor’s Mixed Reality Café.
The Panel was moderated by Larry Strange, Enterprise Technology Strategist, Microsoft. The four panelists included Amanda Lange, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft, Brian Yezter, President, Yetzer Studio, Vance Souders, Founder, Plas.MD, and Kristina Jenkins, Digital Content Director, Visit Philadelphia.
“As of today,” said Strange, “when we talk about mixed reality, what we’re really talking about is 3d assets incorporated into the physical world. And then of course virtual reality is a complete replacement for the real world.”
Yetzer was offering the artist and designer’s perspective and was perhaps the most visionary speaker making bold predictions about what futurist Ray Kurzweil would call the singularity.
“I think the end goal here is no device,” said Yetzer, “I’m not sure if it is going to be hardware , but my prediction is that there will be no device in 20 years. I think the question is ‘when do we transfer our conscious into this internet.”
The other speakers were more grounded with Kristina Jenkins bring the perspective of a client to the discussion.
“I think it is really encouraging to use VR and AR as another kind of content. My job is to look at words and to look at photos and to make Philadelphia shine, and AR and VR can do that too,” said Jenkins.
Of the various hurdles to mixed reality adoption the one that Lange brought up would probably resonate the most with gamers; nausea. Lange did offer up some simple solutions to counteracting its effects through clever implementation of a GUI or HUD.
The Mixed Reality Café at the Microsoft Reactor is open to the public on Wednesdays and Fridays 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Visitors with an ID can sign in for a 15 minute session and use the Holo Lens to use one of six preloaded apps and can experience Peru, Rome, or even walking with dinosaurs.
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