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Could augmented reality save the traditional wristwatch?

The traditional wristwatch is under threat from the smartwatch, the device that is becoming the new battleground for technology companies.

Samsung was first off the mark with its Galaxy Gear smartwatch last September.

Google in March announced it was helping developers with a version of Android for smartwatches and other wearables.

And rumours persist that Apple is working on a smartwatch, based on the recent hiring decisions of the secretive company.

But one other technology may come to the traditional wristwatch's rescue.

Augmented reality (AR) - which plants digital images into our view of the real world using apps on mobile devices - is becoming more widely used.

It is potentially well suited to small companies who want to sell expensive items like watches, which they may not be able to afford to keep in stock.

The BBC's Dougal Shaw caught up with Marcus Fairs, founder of design publication Dezeen. Working with Augmented Reality specialists Inition, he has been using the technology to sell watches in a pop-up shop at the Clerkenwell Design Week festival.

  • 26 May 2014
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