Tech in T.O. Next Generation: Meet Microsoft’s youngest AR developer

This is the third of a 10-part series on Toronto’s technology community

About three years ago, Sabarish Gnanamoorthy said from the moment he put on a virtual reality headset it immediately sparked an interest in technology.

“That’s what really piqued interest in [virtual reality],” he said.

“I saw how you could create an entire 360 world around you using virtual reality and how you can do that right on your own computer.”

At 16 years old, Gnanamoorthy is the youngest augmented reality developer with Microsoft. He said his hope is to help create technology that could be easily integrated into everyday life.

“Right now we’re using smart phones, which are 2-D devices, and we’re using it in literally every moment of our lives … But it’s serving as an interference in our lives versus and integration,” he said.

“That’s what I thought when I saw virtual and augment reality and how it has the ability to take digital objects, put it in our real world environment (and) allow for us to interact with it as if it was part of a real world environment.”

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Gnanamoorthy is the founder of WaypointAR, a technology that is meant to help people navigate places by using augment reality.

“It’s a navigation platform for indoor locations that’s using augmented reality and artificial intelligence to make navigation a lot more intuitive,” he said.

“It can be used in places like airports, university campuses, malls, complexes … For example in a mall, when you want to just get from one store to another and have no clue how to go there, we’re usually trying to find those screens that have those maps on them but now we can just pull out our phones, type out where we want to go and it’ll lead us there using an AR avatar.”

EXTENDED: Sabarish Gnanamoothy discusses hopes for invention

Gnanamoorthy said The Knowledge Society, an innovation program meant to prepare young people who have interests in the tech field, helped introduce him to this sort of technology.

“It’s for high school students and they expose us to technologies like AI, VR, and AR, self-driving cars, and all these emerging technologies that are really going to change the world in the future,” he said.

“Virtual and augmented reality really caught my eye as soon as I got into the program, and I got into it through learning through the internet and just learning from whatever I can.”

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