Quast Media strives to stay at the forefront in technological innovation. As applications and industry needs change, Quast Media evolves in offering the technologies that exceed those needs in the marketplace. To this end, Quast Media is excited to offer the technology of Mixed Reality to our clients! Along with Augmented and Virtual Reality, Quast Media can now offer a full suite of interactive and immersive applications to meet any client’s needs for advanced messaging and communications, both internally as well as client-facing.
Quast Media is the only agency you’ll need to develop, design, create, and implement Reality-based applications to enhance sales and marketing efforts, improve employee training methods and safety, re-define what’s possible in customer services and support, and even increase efficiencies in the manufacturing, inventory, and “Big Data” areas of your operations.
Let’s Define Mixed Reality
It can be said that the world we live in is known as the “real world”. What we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell all around us contributes to making this our perception of reality. In recent years, new technologies have developed that can enhance what we experience as “real”. And since this inception, all interaction between humans and computers has been dependent on the capabilities of the hardware available to create such innovations.
Augmented Reality is a technology that allows us to overlay computer generated content on to real world objects in “real time”, giving us the illusion that they’re all in the same space and time.
Virtual Reality technology is the creation of a completely artificial environment that replaces our real - world experience, while allowing us to interact with the artificial objects in this environment.
Mixed Reality has been defined by some as the best of both worlds. New hardware/software technology allows us to “mix” both real and virtual worlds together. When utilizing this technology, it’s now possible to experience new environments where both real physical elements as well as digitally created objects can not only co-exist together but can also be interacted with.
The Direction of Mixed Reality Uses
Although the most obvious applications of Mixed Reality have so far been seen in gaming and the Entertainment industry, the technology is now seeing much greater applications in industry and business, both in the industrial as well as commercial sectors.
According to Statista.com , as of July of 2017 52.8% of all mid-market US-based companies were using some form of Mixed Reality solutions for applications such as employee training and customer and internal education and learning.
It’s also important to note that the survey found that 52% of these companies used the technology in their Operations Departments (field technicians, advanced machine operations), 46% were using it in communication and collaborations, and 43% were employing the technology in marketing and customer service.
Mixed Reality Uses in Action
Here are a few examples of how Mixed Reality technology is being used to change the world we live in:
I’m sure you’ve heard of the old saying that “time is money”. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Manufacturing industry. Most products today are made in automated factories, and many are run 24 hours a day to keep up with demand.
According to Businessnewsdaily.com, “few technologies are more essential to the hands-on manufacturing employee than mixed reality”.
Here are a few ways that Mixed Reality applications have emerged to assist this important industry vertical, which still accounts for about 9% of all employment in the United States:
Allowing Data Collection to become “visual”: companies go to great expense to gather data in the manufacturing process, MR has the ability to better connect workers on the factory floor with important information that can be displayed as “visual overlays”. This process will enhance machine efficiency as well as increase quality control.
Continuing Education and Training: Training in a “mixed reality” environment increases safety standards, since workers are practicing in a simulated environment. Additionally, because the training is done in a virtual environment, expensive-to- operate stand-alone training facilities become obsolete. Companies can save on transporting workers to these training facilities, wear-and-tear on the equipment used, and still create a learning environment that is far superior to traditional classroom methods. The added benefit of MR training is the ability to retain all the benefits associated with real-world “learn-by-doing” curriculum.
Create Mixed Reality instructions: What if that Ikea shelving unit you just bought had a way for you to interact with an overlay of assembly instructions? And better still – how will it look in my home, and will it fit in my desired space? These are just some of the questions that Mixed reality applications are poised to provide answers for.
There are many other ways that Mixed Reality applications will soon be enhancing the way we do business, provide healthcare and eradicate diseases, educate tomorrow’s leaders, improve products, and yes, even enjoy our leisure time a bit more.
With all these industry-changing applications, it will be impossible to avoid the long-term effects that Mixed Reality experiences will have on our daily lives.
From 3D modelling to remote repair guidance and project monitoring apps, the engineering sector has begun to take advantage of mixed reality devices. Using 3D modelling apps on mixed reality devices, engineers can build their projects up in a shared virtual environment to give them the best chance of spotting errors while allowing for real-time manipulation of designs that can then be evaluated and checked.
Mixed Reality project monitoring apps are also growing in popularity due to their ability to project 3D or 4D design models over structures as they are being built, helping engineers and construction workers to visualize progress as well as to inspect the quality of what has already been built.
The MedicalFuturist.com recently stated that mixed reality has a bright future in healthcare. Microsoft’s HoloLens opens up radically new ways for medical education:
It is able to project the human body in its full size in front of medical students. Thus, the organs, veins or bones will be visible accurately in 3D, and future medical professionals will be able to analyze their shape, remember their characteristics more vividly than it is possible when studying from a book.
There are already some universities who plan to introduce the new technology. Case Western University opens its new health education campus in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic in 2019, where students won’t learn anatomy from cadavers, they’ll learn it from virtual and mixed reality.
Another way of making use of HoloLens is applying it in the pre-operative planning phase of operations. Physicians could plan their entire intervention using 3D holograms, where they could accurately see the spaces for making incisions and clearly envision the consequences of their moves.
There are some hospitals where HoloLens is already in use for planning surgeries. Researchers in Oslo have developed a way of turning traditional two-dimensional medical images into 3D augmented-reality models for planning surgery and navigating around organs during operations.
Moreover, HoloLens could also find its way into the OR. Medical technology firm Scopis has created the first mixed-reality interface for surgeons on HoloLens, primarily for open and minimally invasive spinal surgeries.
According to Acer for Education, thanks to Mixed Reality, students can touch and manipulate objects generating a greater understanding of them, and can also interact with data sets, complex formulae and abstract concepts, which could be more difficult to understand through just a teacher’s verbal instructions. Here are just a few examples they site:
Hard Sciences: (Biology, Anatomy, Geology, etc.) traditionally considered as the most complicated – gain new learning opportunities thanks to the interaction with dimensional objects, human bodies, animals and environments.
Social Studies: Many classes around the world have already used MR tools to design architectural models, to recreate historical or natural sites, to explore foreign countries and get in touch with new, different cultures. Topics related to literature or economics finally became “real” and “touchable” thanks to the deeply immersive sense of place and time, provided by Mixed Reality devices.
Art and Creativity: Mixed Reality enhances the collaboration among students, teachers and external educators, offering the possibility to work remotely together. Imagine an artist inviting a class in his studio for a special workshop, a curator guiding thousands of children around a museum, or an actor leading a master class in real time with students from all over the world, making them collaborate on a common theater piece.