Augmented Reality - What We're In For With AR

Augmented reality is a “disruptive technology.” As a result industries and businesses must prepare to adapt to AR quickly, before those who have assimilated this technology use it to take market share. To learn what augmented reality is you can watch an example here or read about it here. Portions of this post are related to and associated with a recent article by Jack Graham which you can find here . Jack is a reputable writer and thought leader on the topic. Suggest you follow him on twitter.

I shared this clip at IHRSA and during other fitness industry event. If you’re a fitness facility, fitness education or any type of fitness or wellness content provider AR has the potential to greatly impact the industry. Watch the example below and tell me, Bryan O'Rourke, what do you think about AR ?

The Challenges of AR

If you’re walking down the street looking into augspace with your iphone, you lose your peripheral vision. Playing Spec Trek, I was having a great time until I stumbled over a pothole while chasing down an AR ghost. I almost broke my neck.

Augmented reality apps that enable public tagging of buildings leave businesses vulnerable to harassment and vandalism via augmented reality sticky notes. AR apps which perform facial recognition threaten to further erode privacy, removing anonimoty in public places.

The Positives

AR technoogy holds a great deal of promise. Better heads up display glasses, are already appearing and will give augspace even greater immediacy, freeing the user from having to pull out their phone and look through it. Gestural and wearable interfaces will let us click on an object or building in a scene and bring up information on it, or allow complex interactions with phantom objects.

Industry standards for tagging places and objects with AR content will allow apps to access public AR channels. And educational AR apps capable of recognizing parts in a machine from the scene in the user’s camera could be used to coach workers through assembling and maintaining complex devices.

Emergent AR Technologies

Two research projects producing results are MIT’s SixthSense and a project at Cambridge University to create positional tracking for camera-based apps. SixthSense (watch it here) is particularly interesting because it’s in the small class of working AR applications that don’t display their output on a device monitor of some type.

Implications for AR in the Future

Soon we’ll see the emergence of open standards for building and tagging augspace, search engines selling premium AR placement, location based AR audio, and spam (along with spam filters). Farther out, augmented reality will completely transform how we compute. It will allow us to put a user-defined skin on reality, radiate and interact with personal area social networks, and wear graphics like clothing. It will enhance our intelligence, providing instant information on anything we look at and cueing us if we forget a name or a face. It will erase the boundary between the real and the digital, turning the world around us into a search engine whose results are displayed on thin air.