FPGA enables Augmented Reality – the next Tech Trend

augmented realityAugmented reality is the next big thing.

At this year’s Facebook F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg outlined the next steps for Facebook’s 10-year master plan, and the beginning of this plan focused on enabling an augmented reality environment.

Some of the key things that came out of the plan include:

1) The Camera Effects platform

Remember when Niantic unveiled the Pokemon Go app? During the first few days, it was almost impossible to login to the app – that’s how busy the servers were. Facebook plans on hosting a camera effects friendly platform for new app developers and engineers, allowing other augmented reality apps to enter the market.

Facebook needs to change the user environment and appeal to its user base, keeping up with competing social media apps, particularly SnapChat.

Nike has already developed an app that lets you share your run time with friends.

2) The replacement of physical technological items.

Things like a tv.

Zuckerberg admits that we don’t really need a tv. Plus a tv is something that takes up room. Instead of a tv, Zuckerberg demonstrated the use of a newly developed pair of smart glasses (something like Google’s smart glasses), and which you can put on, turn to a blank wall, and watch tv. This is something you can combine with an augmented reality environment.

AR tech is driven through advances in smartphone technology. Today’s smartphones now include sensors to determine the phone’s location and placement. Advances in processi power, RAM, and storage space will allow users to store data-hungry AR apps. Plus, with the advent of 5G wireless technology and widespread availability of Wi-Fi and cellular data plans, it’s only a matter of time before users begin to rely on apps and other tech enabled through AR.

The hardware behind AR tech includes an FPGA. An FPGA is a flexible, reprogrammable chip, which can be used to enable a number of services on a mobile phone. Lower-end FPGA are used for mobile phones, but with the looming possibility of AR, manufacturers will have to shift towards a mid-end FPGA with more processing power.

Luxe Electronics is an independent distributor of electronic components. We work with a lot of FPGA and are always on the market for RFQs and excess opportunities.

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Sources used:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/article/NE/20170422/NEWS/170429890

Image from wikipedia

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