Augmented Reality Through Actiongram and HoloLens

18th March 2016 by in category IT Support Blog tagged as , , , , , , with 0 and 3

How Microsoft’s augmented reality based system adds AR effects to your films

Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality image by Ahmet Misirligul/Shutterstock.

Ever fancied seeing your dog being chased by dinosaurs? Does the thought of getting your grandma on an aerial slide seem likely, without fearing heights and drops? Thanks to Microsoft, a new augmented reality-based system shall make this possible. Enter stage left, HoloLens and Actiongram.

Holographic film clips

Thanks to HoloLens, wearers of a Google Glass-style headset are able to see holographic images juxtaposed with real life images. Imagine going to a football match, and seeing the league table through your headset. As play continues you could use the headset to call up the league table. If you’re bored, you could have dinosaurs running amok in your garden or chasing your dog.

Integral to Microsoft’s augmented reality system is Actiongram. This is the software side of its AR system, being an augmented reality-based video editor. You are given a cast of AR characters to play with, including the obligatory Tyrannosaurus Rex, zombies and a flying saucer. They can be added to the clip with their own script or your own dialogue.

At present, there is a long way to go till augmented reality characters appear in soaps and home videos. The technology is in its infancy, plus the $3,000 price tag (£2068.39) for a developers’ kit is prohibitive for home users. Should prices fall to reasonable levels (for instance, one-tenth of the present price), HoloLens and its associated software will be attractive enough for mass acceptance.

Possible uses of HoloLens headsets

One of the joys of augmented reality is being able to place your relatives in improbable situations. Your grandma could be seen skydiving without a parachute or worrying about heights (she could be plonked into the scene using Actiongram). Your dog could be seen chasing a dinosaur, without having to bark at T-Rex.

There is potential for more practical uses. HoloLens headsets could be used for corporate presentations as well as checking the football results. They could be used as educational tools or as study aids for your GCSEs or Highers. A history revision session could see characters being brought to life (an AR version of Queen Victoria anyone?).

What’s amazing is the development time of its Actiongram software. Five developers finished the first version in six months. This clip below shows what could be done at present, and it’s a good start.

Will it become a hit? Only time will tell.

Tabard IT, 18 March 2016.

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