Simultaneous Localization And Mapping is possibly one of the biggest trends in technology right now, since AR and VR are rising to the top and every big tech company is trying to insert their products in the market. Let's try to break down what SLAM is and how it could be the biggest revolution in games, apps and many others.
How Does It Work?
Simultaneous Localization And Mapping is a protocol that, using the headset's sensors, is able to recreate the surrounding area using and combining all the projections the headset was able to collect. This works in two ways: we are able to determine a better virtual projection of the actual surrounding space and at the same time we can understand how to improve the user experience when using a mapping software, or an app, for example.
Can We Consider it "Machine Learning"?
Yes, in a way: all the projections are, indeed, made inside the actual machine, so technically, we are talking about collecting data, split testing while collecting and elaboration when everything is collected. At the same time, even if we are currently at an advanced stage of development, there is still room for improvement and the technology is not "market ready" in its entirety.
The Gaming Scenario
When thinking about VR, the first use-case that comes to mind is, of course, gaming related. With everything said before in mind, it's pretty exciting to think that in the future there might be a VR game that will be able to develop and adapt its scenarios on the actual surrounding area. VR gaming is still at its beginning, but since many triple As studios are focusing on this technology when developing new titles, we can expect big things.
The first application that comes to mind is, of course, related to mapping, and Google Maps is the most used when it comes to that. From that, it's clear that many different mobile app development companies will rely on the SLAM protocol. Tesla's developers, for example, said that they want to implement the usage of their mobile app with the Summon Feature on a bigger scale. In case you didn't know, the possibility of being able to call the car from remote is currently relying on SLAM since it's a major part of autonomous driving.
SLAM is instrumental in improving the user experience when using a VR/AR peripheral across a variety of use-cases and we're all excited to see how the protocol will help drive innovation in the future.
Paul Matthews is a freelance writer in Manchester. His aim is to inform people about the power of the internet, while he still focuses on his office. You can often find him mountain biking or at the local library.