This Year will probably be the time of Augmented reality.
Now at the end of 2012, we are already seeing a speedy take up of Augmented reality tech. Portable gadgets such as tablet pc’s, mini machines and smart phones are seemingly tailor-made for the new darling of the Information period.
So what’s Augmented reality? Well, AR (or ‘augmented reality’ to its friends), is largely the practise of using computer generated images and/or information onto real life descriptions (at least the type of AR we are talking here is, nonetheless, its an open-ended term, so post your complaints in the comments section, please). Augmented reality might be applied to paper supplements (so when the articles or pictures are viewed on a smart phone app they jump to life and present additional content), street corners (much like the app which will mention all relevant information pertaining to a restaurant, including feedback, menus and special offers, just by holding your phone in the route of the eatery itself) and even the night sky (yes, some Augmented reality apps will actually offer scientific statistics and Hubble telescope information on heavenly bodies and constellations as you view them on your phone).
AR is coming all together in a big way and make no mistake about it. Google Glass, a development announced by Google X Lab earlier this year, is one such example. Taking the shape of a fashionable pair of spectacles, Glass users will be able to walk down the road and access any information they see fit as they are doing so. They’ll even be able to film their every day proceedings, or take snapshots of things as they occur. Reality will be re-shaped in real time by the glasses; you can even use them to make video calls to loved ones. Google Glass will be made available to developers early next year and, by the start of 2014, will become commercially obtainable, together with dozens of other exciting products of that ilk.
Augmented reality’s impression on home entertainment (especially video games) will also be felt, but there are also far more ‘grown up’ uses for that technology in the pipeline. Variations of Augmented reality are already getting used to coach troopers, educate would-be doctors and instruct firefighters in virtual burning buildings. For those who do not have the cash for a smartphone, Google Glass or anything else we’ve mentioned, you’ll see the effects of Augmented reality on television sports casting (look at the real-time analysis overlaid on recent NFL matches) and on store window advertising (disobedient high street chain Anne Summers pioneered a very memorable one earlier this year).
In 2013, with an abundance of funds coming in from Augmented reality apps, video games and devices, we can demand a rapid enhancement of this technology. Which means by the end of next year, Augmented reality could be an unavoidable fact of modern life. We expect AR to become a major selling point next year, with companies offering an increased amount of AR-ready mini games as accessories on a choice of devices and more Augmented reality apps being developed than at any time.
In the event you’re in training as a doctor, a soldier, a policemen or a fireman, the odds are that you’ll encounter AR (if you haven’t already) in 2013. Obviously, this won’t substitute the experience of dashing right into a burning building, going into battle or performing complicated surgery (and it is not attempting to), but the chance is there for more detailed and meticulous training for experts in these areas. Furthermore, it will not be long before CEO’s and managers are holding AR-infused meetings, during which the attendees can access relevant information in real time, which will certainly beat a Powerpoint presentation any day!
In 2013, anticipate advertisements, paper supplements and smartphone games to contain an rising element of Augmented reality capability. AR is taking the fast track into our lifestyles and 2013 might be a pivotal time for this.
Next year is going to be the most technologically advanced time in mankind’s history to date and, if that seems like an easy thing to say, consider the vastness of this statement. Like the Net before it, Augmented reality is set to make a big splash in our lives and 2013 is going to be the largest ripple so far. Frankly, we can’t wait for it…