However, being a passionate technologist, always looking for ways to make myself and my team more ready to take on the next challenge.
For that goal, for the last couple of months I've been evaluating AR, VR, and 'Holo' alternatives to provide a different 'perspective' on heads-down development ecosystem/environment.
Key findings (end of Q1/2015):
- AR, Augmented Reality / overlay over real world, such as those by Google Glass, Meta (Pro), Atheena, Vuzix, are all trying to take on many things at once. I, for one, do not need a head-mounted camera, especially when you will always have a phone with you which has a better camera anyway -- and as far as using the camera itself for AR, rather use the 'smartglass' as a portable monitor rather than full AR.
- Extra features not needed (camera)
- needs to be 'socially acceptable', particularly in meetings. Privacy concerns exist also around the camera, so drop camera, or provide (obvious marked?) option that does not include the camera.
- Intent One for supportive information, lookup/confirmation in meetings.
- Intent Two for development environment where not limited to single-pane monitor. Need higher resolution (i.e. 1600x1200) to be useful.
- Hololens (microsoft). They do not provide any actual specifications. So...vaporware for the time being. Interesting concept, but not likely to impress compared to VR.
- VR, Virtual Reality, where no attempt to overlay the real world. Provide 'high quality media' (i.e. gaming experience), so no camera, focus on video resolution, sound, and hopefully eye fatigue challenges.
- Project Morpheous, Sony/PS4 specific, not relevant as need for PC platform.
- Occulus Rift. Very popular, but the newer consumer version is targeted for 2016.
- Valve/Steam HTC Hive. Likely best candidate, high resolution display, with SteamOS intent for multi-OS environments (windows, linux, SteamOS), very good for both traditional business and gaming development shops. Target for end of 2015.
- Bonus: Valve/Steam is also a nice distribution platform in itself. One of my personal goals was to help provide 'optimized' development environments per projects. By Integrating into Steam as a distribution platform and provide 'modules' or 'add-ons' that provide the optimized environment/experience, a faster bootstrap process for new developers.
HTC Hive is not selling their development kits like Occulus, an interesting move. I've submitted an application for my team (as an independent) to try to provide another 'perspective' to development.