Augmented Reality … finally getting real!Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco
This is what a Technology Review article is reporting! After several years of progress in both devices and software, several attempts in marketing applications we are now seeing a number of practical applications targeting the mass market.
Augmented reality started several years ago, over 15 years ago to be exact, as a way to help professionals in tough situations, be that an airplane engine repair in some remote location with AR providing assistance to the local engineer, or as an help to a surgeon during surgery. In 2009 the first mass market apps (Yelp, Layar…) to float information on the images captured by a smartphone camera. Interesting the one that allowed you to translate road signs on the move just by pointing your phone camera to the sentence (Word Lens).
More recently, thanks to more powerful smart phones and to better wireless connectivity, apps have begun to exploit image recognition capabilities and also to share information with other phones. Crowd Optics, as an example, has shown a way to look with your cell phone at a distant part of a NASCAR racing circuit to get photos taken by people in that part of the circuit, like having a personal cameraman at your fingertips to bring in images of those parts of the circuit you cannot see from your location.
This and other examples are provided in the linked article on Technology Review.
What I like to point out, though, is that all these steps improving augmented reality through a cell phones are but the beginning of the Internet WITH Things!
We will get used to expect that any “thing” around us is loaded with information and services, and that we can get at those just by pointing our smart phones to it. And, of course, this is just the beginning. Other ways to support interaction will be wearing glasses that embeds video display capabilities (Google glasses?) and screens embedded in the Thing itself.
More down the lane we (you) might have a chip embedded in the retina… a bit scaring though.