The Future of Next Generation Augmented Reality

Augmented reality, or AR––sounds futuristic, but there has been an increasing number of practical applications coming out since the release of the iPhone 3GS. For those who don’t know the term, “augmented reality” is the enhancement of your reality using digital means. Think of the marker lines going across the football field when you watch a game on TV. They are not really on the field but just digital images on your screen.

We have been creating AR experiences on iPhones, Android devices, and iPads since 2009. We once envisioned using our smartphones and iPads to view enhanced imagery triggered by locations or visual markers, but now we will be able to see this imagery without holding up a device. The latest in our augmented world is the news that Google will offer AR glasses by the end of this year. These glasses won’t be the first but may likely be the product that accelerates AR development to the tipping point in use.

The implications are huge for education, health care, and just about every other industry. Think about a doctor who can view digital CAT scans and manipulate the images that are overlaid the patients body.  The iPad or smartphone recognizes the body outline and other parts and can accurately overlay the images. . Cool and useful. Or imagine reading a book with your heads-up display (HUD) glasses on and seeing 3-D imagery that is activated by a little head gesture. Or a munchkin on the screen turning to you and asking, “What would you do?”

Rumor is that the Google HUD glasses could look something like these Oakley Thumps.

Our job as technology “Vanguards” is to come up with practical ways to use the tech. I can think of a hundred ways this will help my life––from driving to recognizing people. The future is being augmented before my eyes. How cool is that?

Author: Dana Farbo

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