Last week, Microsoft had their Windows 10 event, where they announced quite a few things. One of the most exciting announcements was the Hololens, an augmented reality headset, which can create “holograms”. It is definitely an exciting technology, and no doubt will bring revolution to the computer industry. One thought that crossed my mind though was “Could the Hololens have applications for sim racing?”
Difference Between VR and AR
One thing that could be confusing for some people is the two different types of headsets. With headsets like the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus offering “Virtual Reality”, the uninformed may potentially confuse Augmented Reality with the other type.
To sum it up, I would say that Virtual Reality “replaces your reality with a virtual world”. By that, I mean that when you’re looking into the headset, you are closed off from the outside world, and you are fully immersed into the virtual side of things.
However, Augmented Reality adds to the reality we’re already in. The virtual elements are spliced into our depictions of real life, and are blended to create a new perception.
How Can Sim Racing Benefit From Augmented Reality?
One of the highlights of the Microsoft Hololens announcement was the live demo of the headset. In the demo, Microsoft showed off an application called “HoloStudio”. It is a simplified 3D modelling application, where you can create simple models and print them out.
One thought that crossed my mind was “What if that was fleshed out more? Could we potentially see the ability to create cars via the Hololens?” Imagine a guy standing in a garage, and piecing together a car to be implemented in a racing sim. How cool would that be?
I also think that the Hololens’ Augmented Reality could have application for the gameplay aspect of sim racing. While the Oculus Rift is a great piece of hardware, one of my gripes is that you are totally closed off from the outside world. With the Rift, you are not able to see your hardware that you are using, which could be disorienting.
With Augmented Reality, I believe we may be able to superimpose the “screen” behind your setup, to create an immersive experience, while not limiting visibility of what you want to see. This could be a great “best of both worlds” situation: you’d be able to see an encompassing view of your car, while still being planted in reality.
What are your thoughts on the Hololens and Augmented Reality versus Virtual Reality? Do you think one will pass up the other? We’d like to hear your input!