Phantom — A New Augmented Reality OS

tl;dr Work in progress, Early developer access, Make AR Great Again

I bet you've seen a lot of awesome stage demos and heard speechless people speak about their first AR experience. It all looks so cool and fascinating at first, but the reality is often very different — if you work in AR, you know what I mean. I'm not about to navigate you through the wast ocean of contemporary AR gimmicks here, there are some good blogs covering a lot in great detail. Instead, let's have a look at some very real AR. Here's what we've been working on for a while.

Excuse my humble bedroom lab, we're a young and still underfunded startup a bit ahead of the market :)

Phantom is designed to be operated by a regular non-telepathic human. It's built for efficiency and it will only get better.

Also, this is not VR or mobile, we need to treat apps and all the other content a bit differently. You may spot some old and some new concepts here. Basically, one app running at the time is not what we want in AR. A lot is happening at the same time and the world doesn't stop when you look away.

The demo was recorded by Phantom itself running on this $500 dev kit. This particular setup uses Google’s 2015 Project Tango tablet fitted with Wearality Sky lenses and a custom 3D-printed frame to get ~120° FOV. Mobility is limiting and yet a very important factor for where we’re going. All is running at 50–60 FPS atm, more optimizations are coming

We’re all just beginning to scratch the surface, there are tons of ideas but no one can be sure at this point what AR is about to become. It all depends on what we — developers and artists— can make, and on the tools we get to work with.

And I’m not sharing all this just to show off. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to install Phantom on any Android– and even iOS–based AR headset with a sufficient set of sensors. It will also run on HoloLens and Meta 2.

The point here is to create something better than just a few libraries so that you can create and share something amazing much faster without reinventing the basics over and over. This is a complete environment made just for AR, incorporating many advanced computer vision concepts that will be soon taken for granted. You’ll be able to pick up where this demo lefts off, even with just pretty basic Unity skills. Plus there will be automatic compatibility across all supported devices which is still quite hard to imagine today in AR. The underlying hardware and CV subsystems will change, this will not.

If you’re interested, sign up for our updates. We want to open Phantom to developers as soon as possible, if you want to be among the first ones, please tell us a bit about yourself and what you’d like to build.

There’s also quite a lot people out there making their own AR headsets (either commercially, or just for fun). If you’re interested in a better software base than just plain Android, leave us your details.

If you’d like to help and get involved in any other way, we’ll be happy to hear from you.

All for now, Mirek out