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Beyond the Screen: What You Need to Know about Spatial Computing

As a term, spatial computing has been around for a couple of decades. Recently, though, it’s been gaining more and more attention. The upcoming release of Apple’s Vision Pro, which is being marketed as “Apple’s first spatial computer,” is helping the term to gain steam, and we are thrilled to see new developments in the space! Spatial computing, along with its integration with augmented reality (AR), is redefining the boundaries of user experience.

spatial computing visualization

Spatial Computing: Bridging the Digital and Physical Worlds

Spatial computing is a convergence of the physical and digital worlds, where computers are not just passive devices but active participants in our environment. This technology encompasses several key components:

  1. Environmental context is crucial for XR and AR applications, and refers to the ability of a system to understand and interpret the physical surroundings in which it operates.

  2. Computer vision enables machines to interpret and analyze visual data.

  3. Spatial mapping involves creating 3D maps of spaces.

  4. Object detection allows the device in question to identify and track objects in real time.

  5. Machine learning facilitates adaptive and intelligent system responses.

  6. Visual positioning systems (VPS), when relevant, offer advanced navigational capabilities.

Spatial Computing in Real-World Applications

One remarkable example of spatial computing is Apple's Vision Pro, which we mentioned at the top of this article. If the press and rumors are to be believed, it will be a headset that challenges the very concept of traditional computing. It promises an array of 360-degree screens, providing an immersive experience far beyond the limitations of a laptop.

Oculus Quest 3's depth-sensing capabilities mark another milestone for the industry. This AR headset boasts strong plane detection and hand tracking features, thanks to advancements in the computer vision arena. Check out our engineers’ review of the Quest 3 for a detailed take on the headset’s pros and cons.

Augmented reality tourism presents a new frontier for AR/MR/XR as well, and we were proud to unveil UrWay earlier this year! The app prototype allows users to explore global destinations in an interactive and engaging manner, wasting less time staring at a search engine. Applications like this are the perfect example of when Visual Positioning Systems are necessary, since the app relies on local landmarks, processed via computer vision, to identify the user’s location.

Augmented reality in surgery is increasing success rates for patients in a variety of ways. From giving providers easy access to patient data during surgery, to helping operators navigate the delicate area of the spine more effectively, spatial computing advancements are improving lives.

Modern App Development: Does Your App Need a Spatial Computing Expert Touch?

Whether your VR or AR app will need support from a spatial computing company depends on how much digital content will interact with the real world. If you’re designing a completely immersive VR experience, you may need some light object detection for controllers, but overall your needs will be less intense than an AR experience in which digital content responds to real-world movements instantaneously.

If your app involves digital content being overlaid onto (or interacting with) real-world objects then we recommend you seek an augmented reality agency with expertise in spatial computing.

Hiring a Spatial Computing Company

For an agency to specialize in spatial computing they should have deep knowledge and experience in headset work, machine learning, and computer vision. One of these areas alone is typically not enough - and this particular combination of expertise can be difficult to find.

DAS Labs stands at the forefront in developing this technology. And, our team offers a comprehensive approach to project management and AR app testing - two items that can’t be left behind in a development project. If you have a project you’d like to discuss, we invite you to request a free consultation and embark on a journey of technological innovation and excellence with us.


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