Azure Object Anchors: the third tool
Mixed Reality has been with us for some time and is here to stay. There are more and more companies demanding this type of services that are making technological progress very quickly.
Microsoft provides Azure Mixed Reality Services with two cutting-edge facilities: the all-powerful Spatial Anchors, used to permanently anchor holograms in the real world, and Remote Rendering, which provides us with real-time rendering of highly complex and great quality 3D models. However, a third tool is coming soon, Azure Object Anchors. It is currently in a private preview phase, but it will be released very soon.
One of the great needs in the development of Mixed Reality applications is to be able to anchor virtual elements to real-world objects. The most reliable way to do it nowadays is with markers, thus obtaining pinpoint accuracy. Azure Object Anchors allows us to recognize real 3D objects and use them as markers, avoiding the use of images or QR codes, without affecting accuracy.
Azure Object Anchors Workflow
This feature is divided into two main steps:
Training: the first thing we need is a 3D model that represents the dimensions of the real-world object that we want to use as an anchor. This 3D model must be loaded into the service for the training. The accepted formats are those already known from other services (gltf, glb, obj, fbx, ply). The service will process and train it to provide us the model that we will use in our application.
Application: once the training service has provided us with our model, we can use it for our development in HoloLens 2. In most cases, no service connection will be necessary to process the anchoring of the virtual elements to the real-world object. This is a great advantage over other services that need a permanent connection.
There is no doubt that this is a great service that we have been demanding for a long time. It will revolutionize the anchoring of virtual elements to real environments.
Written by our Extended Reality Expert: Marcos Rodriguez