2013 is going to be the year of Augmented reality.
Now at the end of 2012, we are already seeing a quick take up of AR tech. Portable gadgets such as tablet pc’s, mini machines and smart phones are seemingly tailor-made for this new darling of the Information era.
So what’s Augmented reality? Well, AR (or ‘augmented reality’ to its associates), is essentially the practise of using CPU generated imagery and/or information onto real life descriptions (at the least the kind of Augmented reality we are discussing here is, anyway, it’s an open-ended expression, so post your complaints within the remarks section, please). AR might be applied to newspaper supplements (so that when the reports or images are viewed on a phone app they spring to life and recommend added content), street corners (much like the application that can bring up all appropriate information pertaining to a restaurant, including feedback, menus and exclusive offers, just by holding your phone in the route of the eatery itself) and also the night sky (yes, some AR apps will actually offer scientific statistics and Hubble telescope information on fantastic bodies and constellations as you look at them through your phone).
AR is coming together in a great way and make no mistake about it. Google Glass, a project introduced by Google X Lab earlier this year, is one such example. Taking the shape of a fashionable set of glasses, Glass users will walk down the road and access any information they see fit as they do so. They will even be capable of film their daily proceedings, or take snapshots of everything as they happen. Reality will be re-shaped in real time by the glasses; it is possible to even use them to generate video calls to loved ones. Google Glass will probably be offered to developers early next year and, by the start of 2014, will grow to be commercially available, along with many of other exciting products of the ilk.
AR’s influence on home enjoyment (especially video games) will also be felt, but there can be way more ‘grown up’ uses for the technology in the pipeline. Variations of Augmented reality are already being used to train soldiers, educate would-be surgeons and instruct firefighters in virtual burning buildings. When you don’t have the cash for a smart phone, Google Glass or anything else we have pointed out, you will see the effects of AR on television sports casting (look at the actual-time analysis overlaid on recent NFL matches) and on shop window promotion (disobedient high street chain Anne Summers pioneered a particularly memorable one earlier this year).
In 2013, with an abundance of funds coming in from Augmented reality applications, video games and devices, we are able to demand a rapid development of this technology. This means that by the top of next year, Augmented reality may be an inescapable fact of contemporary life. We expect Augmented reality to become a significant selling point next year, with businesses offering an amplified quantity of AR-ready mini games as accessories on a variety of devices and more AR apps being built than at any time.
In the event you’re in training as a doctor, a soldier, a cop or a fireman, the odds are you’ll meet AR (if you have not already) in 2013. Obviously, this won’t replace the knowledge of dashing into a burning structure, going into battle or performing complex surgery (and it is not trying to), but the possibility is there for further thorough and meticulous training for professionals in these areas. Furthermore, it won’t be long before CEO’s and managers are holding AR-infused meetings, during which the attendees can get into relevant information in real time, which will definitely beat a Powerpoint presentation any day!
In 2013, expect advertisements, paper supplements and smart phone games to include an rising element of AR capability. Augmented reality is taking the fast track into our lives and 2013 will be a pivotal time for this.
Next year is going to be the most technologically advanced time in mankind’s story thus far and, if that looks like an easy thing to mention, consider the scale of the proclamation. Like the Internet before it, Augmented reality is about to make a big splash in our lives and 2013 is going to be the largest ripple so far. Simply, we can’t wait for it…