Course info
Jan 5, 2018
1h 30m

Interest in digital reality is growing exponentially, and many companies and individuals are scrambling to get involved. In this course, Digital Realities – The Big Picture, you'll cover what is often missing in discussions of digital realities: an understanding of how virtual, augmented, and mixed reality fit into this space and how they relate to each other. First, you’ll explore the tooling required to implement each form of digital reality, including ARKit, Unreal Engine, and HoloLens development. Next, you'll discover the industries that are taking advantage of digital realities by walking through the four key sectors, education, engineering, healthcare, and entertainment. Finally, you’ll dive into the unique use cases, future prospects, and benefits that each of the digital realities can deliver. By the end of this course, you'll understand when to use one digital reality approach over another. Software required: None.

About the author
About the author

Lars is an author, trainer, Microsoft MVP, community leader, authority on all things Windows Platform, and part time crocodile wrangler. He is heavily involved in the space of HoloLens and mixed reality, as well as a published Pluralsight author, freelance solution architect, and writer for numerous publications.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi everyone. My name is Lars Klint, and welcome to my course, Digital Realities - The Big Picture. I'm a freelance solution architect at larsklint. com, Microsoft MVP, speaker, HoloLens developer, and expert in Australian outback internet. Yeah, that's a thing. I've been building software systems from tiny websites to massive telecommunication systems for the past 20 years. In this course you'll get a great overview of the three digital realities. You'll be informed of how and when to use each for your specific project. We'll look at virtual, augmented, and mixed reality in detail to understand their strengths and overlaps. Learn about the development processes, tools, and environments you need to master in order to create a convincing digital reality experience. We define the best tools to use for the various technologies, get an idea of which industries are taking advantage of digital realities by exploring four key sectors, education, engineering, healthcare, and entertainment, but that isn't all. We also look at the practical side of the equation by understanding and determining where you should invest your time and where you shouldn't. Genuine business benefits are yours for free. This big picture course is designed to answer fundamental questions before you start a new project in the digital reality space. It will save you both time and money. By the end of this course you will have an understanding of what the strengths and weaknesses of digital realities are, how to start building for them, and how you can have a viable project. I hope you'll join me on this journey to learn about augmented, virtual, and mixed reality with the Digital Realities - The Big Picture course at Pluralsight.

What Are Digital Realities?
There's a lot of buzz, hyperbole, fanfare, call it whatever you want, around virtual reality, augmented reality, and lately mixed reality. For most people they all look alike, and the differences are not obvious. In fact, the general description for all of them is often virtual reality because the differences are either irrelevant or uninteresting. In the next four modules you'll get a big picture overview of each type of digital reality, how they are related, how they're different, the history of each, how they fit into various industries, and much, much more. In this module each of the digital realities are introduced, identified, and classified. First we learn how virtual reality came into existence, and what is unique to it. We'll go over the journey up to today's consumer devices we know, and cover some of the concerns and challenges of the platform. Second, we go through the history of augmented reality and how that has influenced the current technology. This is the most versatile in terms of hardware, but does have some limitations when it comes to applications. Third, we look at the new kid on the block, mixed reality. This is possibly the hardest digital reality to get right and to be convincing. Mixed reality is often called augmented reality, but there are significant differences, which we will cover. Finally, we compare all three digital realities to understand strengths and weaknesses between them. We get an idea of where each can be used and how they can be used at the same time, in some cases. All to come in this action-packed, big picture course on digital realities.

Development and Tooling
Now that we have the history and background of the digital realities it is time to look at the developer side of producing the experiences. After all, you're probably not here just for the history lesson, but also for the hands on tooling and productivity. Where module one looked back this module looks at the here and now. There are a number of steps or stages that need to come together to create a successful digital reality app. While the various digital realities all have different strengths, weaknesses, and components there are also some similarities. They all need to have some 3D modeling of some sort. There needs to be a good storyline, and you must get a handle on the tooling needed to create the experience. In this module first we get an overview for the various virtual reality platforms that you can choose to develop an application for. Virtual reality comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the tooling reflects that. We will investigate and discuss various ways you can build virtual reality experiences and get started with the tools. Second, we will make a valiant attempt to keep up with the very fast moving development world of augmented reality. It seems new platforms, frameworks, and tools see the light of day constantly, and we will look at some of them. Third, the new kid on the block, mixed reality, also has a well-defined workflow for creating digital experiences. We go through the workflow in broad strokes from start to finish. Finally, we will have a look at all the tooling to see where overlaps occur, and if there are ways to improve and streamline development in order to increase efficiency. We will also have a brief overview of which tools you can use for creating 3D assets yourself.

A Practical Approach
In the previous modules we've learned how to differentiate between various digital realities, in particular, augmented, virtual, and mixed. We've seen examples of each and which areas they fit into. We've also explored the many different development options and strategies you can build your experiences with before looking at real world business uses of the technologies. In this module it is all about being pragmatic and creating experiences that are useful and engaging. We'll cover how real world projects don't always fall neatly into a single definition of AR, VR, or MR and how to deal with this. We find benefits and get the most out of the tools we choose to use, while future proofing our digital reality product and experiences. The primary tools can target multiple platforms, which can have more than one benefit. There is real value in leveraging others work where possible, especially if you're building a proof of concept. We discuss how you can utilize existing platforms, development kits, and plugins to get a head start. We talk about how users should be your first and last concern, and how you can involve them in the development process, and then finally, we look at how to manage the rapid movement in the digital reality industry before finishing off the course with a discussion on how you keep your business profitable and stay on top of the constant change. All this and more details coming up in this last module of this course.