Augmented Reality: What is going on there?
Recently I’ve attended the InsideAR conference in Munich http://www.metaio.com/insidear/. This is a worldwide leading open event for Augmented Reality (AR), hosted by Metaio, which is a leading company for AR located in Munich and the BayArea. Close to 800 people from across the world have been there, tons of
speeches from prominent people/companies/futurist and a lot of really nice AR exihibits. In short, the perfect event to learn, whats going in the AR world and grasp the atmosphere of departure there.
Here are my impressions:
First of all, rather nobody there wear any kind of computerized glasses. But don’t shoot to quick. This does not mean, that the hype is over. The situation is more complicate in my opinion:
- The fundamental need and wish to augment reality with additional data is obvious, but it heavily depends on proper hardware devices, which people really like to use.
- Current wearable AR devices (e.g. Google Glass) attract technology enthusiast but might not get mass adoption. The smart phone will not disappear so soon.
- Every day life usage of smart phone or tablet displays for AR applications is limited as people do not like to walk around holding a tablet in front of them.
- Because of the “hardware device obstacle”, in the next future, augmented reality will be more driven by business/industrial applications and not so much by the consumer side.
- The industrial side use cases are multi facetted: Blue collar work, where people need their hands free is a classic one. Any navigation support is another one.
- But Augmented Reality might also transform the user experience of information workers. It might turn out, that wearable devices (e.g. glasses) and technologies like thermal touch revolutionize the way, how we interact with information systems. The classic “augmentation” by relating to any visible,
physical object might play a less important role for such use cases.