What's the point of augmented reality?

 

The advertising industry is pinning great hopes on augmented reality technology

Here's my report on augmented reality - is it going to change the way we look at the world or is it, as some say, technology that does not fulfil any real need?

 
Rory Cellan-Jones Article written by Rory Cellan-Jones Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

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    Comment number 39.

    No one needed a tablet and were slated as pointless back then, bet many of those same people have one now. Same will happen with these.

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    Comment number 38.

    Call me when these glasses can take the place of the electronic toys I already have such as smart phone, tablet, laptop, etc. and add functionality that fulfills a need of mine, not what some marketing company wants to push at me.

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    Comment number 37.

    If you'll excuse the pun, I'm amazed at how incredibly short sighted some people are when it comes to this technology. There are an infinite number of possibile ways to take advantage of displaying information in this way and it isn't limited to business or advertising. Think of travel, think of sport, think of medical applications. Come on guys! Lets join the future!

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    Comment number 36.

    I think the practical applications for augmented reality are huge although it depends upon what product they are within. Take a pair of glasses for instance. It could tell you directions to a place, reminders of what groceries to buy could pop up when you pass a supermarket, you look up at the sky and it could tell you the weather. Couple that with voice texting the applications are endless...

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    Comment number 35.

    Augmented Reality can be a valuable tool but business models are tricky. There are a lot of free apps for example like Layar or Aurasma that are designed as a marketing tool. In contrast there are augmented reality solutions like uDecore and iLiving that are designed to solve a specific problem and have there niche market.

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    Comment number 34.

    I think this is just the beginning for AR, I work for a company which is currently conducting its own research into uses other than marketing. There is a lot more to come, and in particular, AR that is completely markerless that will be able to identify objects within the real world. An example of some of our research can be found at http://www.textmimedia.com/technology/augmented-reality/

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    Comment number 33.

    Since the invention of the internet, business miles have increased. The WWW was going to increase the speed of business processes and reduce travel.

    It may take seconds for me to send a proposal to a client now - its still takes them weeks to make up their minds. And even the young ones actually want to meet.

    So that did not work and the communication costs of business have spiralled.

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    Comment number 32.

    AR without business model is pointless. Most AR demonstrations are technology showcases rather utility showcases for end consumers. The only impressive augmented reality demo i have seen in recent times is blippar which shows potential as a consumer focused idea . We'll see as this space grows.

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    Comment number 31.

    What is the business model?

    This is a very maintenance costly technology.
    To survive, an income stream is required.
    Nobody is going to pay for a seldom used application, no matter how good it is.

    The income must come from advertising, and that means that the "reality" becomes distorted beyond acceptable limits.

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    Comment number 30.

    There seems to be a sense of people overusing what technology we can access - completely pointless!

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    Comment number 29.

    What's the point?

    Obvious. To part you from even more of your money. Most peope I meet have trouble with reality - some unable to describe what it is, even - so augmenting may increase their troubles.

    So it's for the gadget freaks. I'm personally unlikely to become even more dependent on the greedy, profit-bloated electronics/ITC industry. I need the money to drink my way out of reality!

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    Comment number 28.

    I am also working on a new AR dating product. Utilising a device such as a phone or glasses when you look at people who are registered users of the dating site it recognises them displays profile information and then allows you to message them via the site, rate them among other activities.

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    Comment number 27.

    I have almost finished developing a prototype for AR that will be used in a toy. Each player wears a pair of glasses and has a fake weapon. Players can play individually or in groups and as you move around your house or outdoors virtual enemies emerge from behind walls and sofas. A kind of AR version of Cops and Robbers. I see a lot of potential for this technology.

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    Comment number 26.

    Contrary to the neigh sayers: I can see some things where an a live image overlaid with data could be interesting, if not useful. For example showing images of a building that no longer exist for historic curiosity or to identify image features such as the names of wild-flowers - both applications require considerable work or the development of software - but it could be useful - so no to neigh!

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    Comment number 25.

    whats the point of this blog site? for 3 years i have enjoyed reading the comments on this site and it has made my 12 hour day/night shifts more bearable. Since the IMPROVEMENTS i can now only view 5 comments."show more" does nothing, "all comments" does nothing. well done. Thanks for nothing.

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    Comment number 24.

    It is being used successfully by teachers. In fact it is an excellent way of teaching children the names of letters or phonics - those people who do not see any uses lack any sort of imagination.

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    Comment number 23.

    I've yet to see the killer app for augmented reality. The only thing that comes close is the Word Lense app on the iPhone, which in real time translates text shot with the built in video camera into another language.

    It may be revolutionary eventually, but we're a way off yet.

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    Comment number 22.

    @ 19.normal thinker: Darpa (inventors of the internet) are looking to fund exactly this kind of thing. Google Darpa LCTI-M

    But best AR I've seen was several years ago from Hit Lab New Zealand, currently just recovering from the Christchurch quake. Google them and check out their educational approach based on 3D glasses and CGI objects positioned by 2D barcodes. Fantastic!

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    Comment number 21.

    @ 19.normal-thinker

    With an app for pubs so you can locate the guy who put Kylie on the jukebox!

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    Comment number 20.

    Combine glasses that give you augmented reality with traditional computer games and you've got a lot of money coming your way! Seriously, imagine putting on your glasses, picking up your plastic gun and connecting to an AR first-person shooter game. It'd be like paintballing without the pain, and you can do it anywhere without hurting anyone...

 

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