Meet Canada's 15-year-old augmented reality whiz kid
Ben Cousins, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Thursday, October 25, 2018 1:01PM EDT
A 15-year-old expert in the world of augmented reality (AR) and the youngest AR developer to be sponsored by Microsoft is hoping his work will one day help the lives of millions.
Sabarish Gnanamoorthy, a Grade 10 student at the University of Toronto Schools, is one of 14 speakers at Friday’s TEDxToronto, where he plans to discuss how augmented and virtual reality will be used in the future and how it can be used to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
“Right now, we’re limited to a scale screen, (but) if we could put on these glasses and our entire world becomes our interactive display, that’s so much better,” Gnanamoorthy told CTV’s Your Morning.
In a separate interview, Gnanamoorthy told CTV News Channel one of the biggest benefits of virtual reality (VR) for him is its ability to shrink the barriers of distance between people.
“In my case, only my parents and my brother are here in Toronto and the entirety of the rest my family is in India,” he said. “Imagine having the ability to use VR to bring them right in front of me through this virtual reality and make it feel like they’re in front of me.”
Gnanamoorthy was first exposed to the world of VR and AR through The Knowledge Society, an innovation program in Ontario designed for youth. As part of this program, participants are exposed to a variety of advanced technologies.
“VR really caught my eye and from there I wanted to start developing,” he said.
Gnanamoorthy eventually reached out to Microsoft. The company then made him its youngest AR developer for the HoloLens, a mixed reality headset that is still in development.
Gnanamoorthy has also created his own company, WayPointAR, a navigation platform using augmented reality to help people get around indoor venues.
While many people fear or don’t understand VR and AR technology, Gnanamoorthy believes these innovations should be embraced.
“If we think that way, we’d never be able to build these technologies in the first place,” he said. “It’s important to have advancement, but we should also keep in mind the negative aspects and try to prevent them as well.”