Augmented reality hardware
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Augmented reality hardware
Use the future to build the present
Augmented reality hardware
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5.5SyntheticBiology5.4Science ofthe Originsof Life5.3FutureEconomics5.2Future ofEducation5.1ComplexSystemsScience4.4Democracy-affirming Technologies4.1Science-basedDiplomacy4.2Advances inScience Diplomacy4.3Digital Technologiesand Conflict3.7InfectiousDiseases3.6Solar RadiationModification3.5OceanStewardship3.4SpaceResources3.3Future FoodSystems3.2WorldSimulation3.1Decarbonisation2.6FutureTherapeutics2.5Organoids2.4ConsciousnessAugmentation2.3RadicalHealthExtension2.2HumanApplicationsof GeneticEngineering2.1CognitiveEnhancement1.6CollectiveIntelligence1.5AugmentedReality1.4BiologicalComputing1.3Brain-inspiredComputing1.2QuantumTechnologies1.1AdvancedAIHIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIAL
5.5SyntheticBiology5.4Science ofthe Originsof Life5.3FutureEconomics5.2Future ofEducation5.1ComplexSystemsScience4.4Democracy-affirming Technologies4.1Science-basedDiplomacy4.2Advances inScience Diplomacy4.3Digital Technologiesand Conflict3.7InfectiousDiseases3.6Solar RadiationModification3.5OceanStewardship3.4SpaceResources3.3Future FoodSystems3.2WorldSimulation3.1Decarbonisation2.6FutureTherapeutics2.5Organoids2.4ConsciousnessAugmentation2.3RadicalHealthExtension2.2HumanApplicationsof GeneticEngineering2.1CognitiveEnhancement1.6CollectiveIntelligence1.5AugmentedReality1.4BiologicalComputing1.3Brain-inspiredComputing1.2QuantumTechnologies1.1AdvancedAIHIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIAL

Sub-Field:

1.5.1Augmented reality hardware

    AR hardware developments have been spearheaded by advances in microelectronics, sensor technologies and vision equipment, which have also reduced the cost. With 5G availability on mobile phones, AR can be implemented --- in limited ways --- on portable devices without the need of expensive eyeglasses and Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs).

    However, augmented reality glasses like the Microsoft HoloLens 2, Google Glass Enterprise 2 and Magic Leap 2 are already being used commercially. But low display resolution, small field-of-view, short battery life, bulky form factors and high costs have restricted them to a limited range of tasks.

    For the technology to achieve widespread use, it needs to be indistinguishable from a normal pair of glasses. This will require massive reductions in size, power consumption and cost. Breakthroughs in optics,12 energy-efficient computing and wireless communication will all be crucial, but the biggest challenge is safely dissipating heat from on-board electronics.13 Another outstanding problem is finding ways for virtual objects to convincingly occlude real world ones using optical technology.

    It may be possible to sidestep some hardware limitations through tricks like “foveated rendering”14 where the eyes are tracked and only the area of focus is rendered in high definition. Spatial audio could counteract tunnel vision by alerting people to things outside their visual field, and physiological monitoring through EEG and skin conductance could help understand the user's intention or cognitive state to optimise the information displayed. Pairing smart glasses with a companion device, such as a smartphone that does the bulk of the processing, could help get around limited on-board processing capacity.

    Creating truly immersive augmented reality will also require breakthroughs in haptics technologies, which mimic physical sensation. Today's experimental haptic devices are focussed on specific tactile experiences and generalized haptics that can mimic a wide variety of sensations remain elusive, though ultrasonic devices show promise.15 In the distant future augmented reality may eventually be mediated by smart contact lenses rather than glasses,16 or even via brain-machine interfaces connected directly to the nervous system.

    Future Horizons:

    ×××

    5-yearhorizon

    Hardware begins to mature

    The first generation of AR glasses reaches maturity, with widespread industrial and commercial use for those working in field operations. Optical breakthroughs improve field of view, but most processing is still done on a companion smartphone and beamed to glasses over 5G. A breakout product from a leading device company could start to make consumer applications attractive.

    10-yearhorizon

    AR displays can be worn all day

    The heat dissipation problem is solved, making it possible to build AR devices indistinguishable from normal glasses. This allows people to wear them all day, replacing the smartphone as the primary digital interface. Improvements in display resolution make the devices useful for knowledge work like information processing and 3D collaboration. Devices become capable of switching seamlessly between AR and VR, opening the gates to the Metaverse.

    25-yearhorizon

    AR and VR begin to feel like reality

    Generalised haptic interfaces that can replicate a broad range of tactile sensations are realised, making both AR and VR experiences almost indistinguishable from reality. Smart contact lenses replace smart glasses as the primary AR interface, while advances in brain-machine interfaces start to make it possible to transmit visual and haptic information directly to the brain.

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