Augmented Reality Roundup: December 2019

Let’s take a look at what’s been happening in the Augmented Reality space for December 2019.

Google shows off its brand new (and amazing) AR features

Google‘s ARCore Depth API will soon allow developers to perform what’s known as occlusion, which is when an artificial object can be blocked from view by other real-world objects in a scene. Place a virtual cat in your living room, for instance, and you can see it disappear from view when you angle your camera in a way that places a bed or table or some other object in between.

Rather than requiring differential data gathered from two cameras or a dedicated time of flight sensor, the new Depth API will automatically snap multiple images as you move a single camera around and then compare the images to estimate your distance from each pixel.

Oppo announces its own Augmented Reality headset

Smartphone maker Oppo has announced a pair of augmented reality glasses and stated they will be released during the first three months of 2020. Oppo’s AR Glass headset is part of an effort to expand beyond only making smartphones, and was revealed alongside plans for a smartwatch and an Oppo-produced mobile processor.

The fast and wide bandwidth promised by 5G networks definitely makes it easier for the headgear to communicate with computers and other connected devices. All without wires, of course.

FDA approves Augmedics’ AR system for spinal surgery

FDA approves Augmedics’ AR system for spinal surgery 3rockAR Advertising
Xvision Spine headset. Credit: Augmedics Ltd.

Augmedics Inc., a Chicago-based startup focused on augmented reality (AR) applications in health care, received 510(k) clearance from U.S. FDA for its Xvision Spine system, an AR headset for surgical procedure.

Augmedics builds its own wireless headsets, which can display CT scans through transparent glasses. Instead of having to look over at a screen, surgeons can use instruments and implants while looking directly at the patient. The headsets also feature a camera that determines the position of surgical tools, with a trajectory superimposed on the CT data.

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