Ubiquity6: Augmented Reality Platform with Ankit Kumar

Augmented reality glasses will let us walk through a world where the digital blends together with the physical. 3-D objects will be rendered and superimposed onto our field of vision, creating an environment for people to build applications we can hardly dream of today.

These augmented reality glasses are probably three to five years away from being ready for consumer use. But developers are already building augmented reality applications for smartphones using Apple ARKit and Android ARCore. These augmented reality toolkits use powerful smartphone processors and computer vision to give developers simple primitives for placing and manipulating 3-D objects.

Most of these AR applications are made for a single phone, and AR is useful for a single phone–for example, you could hold your phone up in front of an empty room, and see on your phone how it would look if you had an IKEA couch sitting in the middle of that room.

But shared augmented reality experiences are much more exciting.

Shared augmented reality can allow us to play a game of virtual basketball, both controlling the game that is synchronized between us. Shared AR would let me go to a restaurant, and create a virtual billboard in front of the restaurant that only you could see when you walked up to the restaurant and held your phone in front of you.

Ubiquity6 is a company with the goal of enabling shared AR experiences. Ankit Kumar is the co-founder and CTO of Ubiquity6, and he joins the show to explain why building shared AR is a challenging technical problem. It requires building a digital model of the real world, and mapping that model to coordinates in space, so that users can reliably persist augmented reality objects that each other can see.

We discuss computer vision, digital mapping, the increasing power of phone processors, and the potential of shared AR.


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