Alexandre Godin: Welcome to the mixed reality
Airbus´ expert in mixed reality Alexandre Godin is convinced that this technology will change the way we interact with the world while creating a new paradigm.
Imagine not just listening to music but visualizing it as well. Imagine seeing traffic conditions throughout the entire city without ever taking your eyes off the road. Imagine no longer depending on monitors, and turning the horizon over the sea into a screen. But, the Mixed Reality Director at Airbus, Alexandre Godin, is not interested in imagining the future; he wants to create it.
To this end, Godin combines ergonomics and bioengineering in search of a way to allow machines and people to interact in the most organic and intuitive way possible. "We are used to the paradigm of controlling things with our hands, like a mouse or a keyboard," Godin explains. "Now, we will control avatars which represent us."
The recent development of mixed reality (MR) represents a further step forward in machine-human interactions. This combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), as Godin defines it, places users at the center of technology and allows them to acquire new skills, like making things appear from thin air, controlling objects without touching them and creating their own digital world.
Telepresence is another potential application of mixed reality. This Airbus researcher highlights the benefits of attending a conference without leaving home, yet with the sensation of having attended in person, or even visiting Mars from one´s own sofa and interacting with outer space. The ability to see beyond our immediate environment, telepresence and other seemingly magical abilities will become commonplace thanks to mixed reality. "Now we use computing, but mixed reality will change the way we interact with data and technology," says Godin.
Airbus has been immersed in this change process since 2016. There, Godin and his team aim to unite the virtual and the physical thanks to devices like those launched by Asus and Microsoft, the main driver of this trend and with whom Airbus is collaborating through the Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner Program. Within their research directed at improving their designs, quality controls and customer experience, the airline has just developed the world's first mixed reality trainer for the A350 XWB commercial aircraft. It works with Microsoft's HoloLens, which places virtual objects in the physical world, and with immersive headphones. This advance will provide better and more profitable forms of training, in addition to making it possible for a pilot to learn from anywhere in an optimal way, for example, by placing a virtual engine on top of an office desk or a control center inside a meeting room.
Godin wants these emerging technologies to break into the mainstream and benefit as many people as possible, both in professional and private environments. These technologies could be used in madicine, architecture and defense work, among other areas. According to this leading researcher, this is the future, and he can´t wait for it to arrive. "I love the power of mixed reality to communicate emotion, simulate situations and help people to overcome problems. It is a unique way to reinstate users in technology."