Canadian firm IO Industries is know for producing high-resolution, high-speed cameras at low cost and with a very small form factor. These products have brought it to the attention of Microsoft, who have partnered with the company with the intention of creating the next generation of holographic augmented reality (AR) technology.
IO Industries is providing 4K cameras and video recorders to supply for technology such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, along with interactive holographic labs, which use up to 110 cameras per lab, at a cost of $1 million (USD) per lab. The deal between IO Industries and Microsoft could be worth up to $17 million over the next two years.
“It is our biggest opportunity in the history of our company,” said IO president Andrew Sharpe, speaking to LFP Press. “It sounds futuristic, but it is happening now,” he said. “We all watched Star Trek and now in 2017 this is becoming a reality.”
The relationship between IO Industries and Microsoft began at a technical conference in Las Vegas, where teams from the two companies met to discuss the challenges inherent in creating holographic AR technology: “They found it was more challenging than they thought and more expertise was needed. What they wanted to do was work with a company that had the ability to put the pieces together,” said Sharpe. “It is not a simple task. They were receptive to a company building all the pieces they needed.”
They found that working together, IO Industries could provide the robust hardware, while Microsoft concentrated on creating software to collate the images together: “We give them the raw data from the cameras in the system and their software takes over to generate the holographic image.” said Sharpe.
VRFocus will continue to report on new AR technologies.