This seems to be AR Friday. Augmented Reality is picking up steam. It’s showing up everywhere from games to food products to automobile campaigns. Many blogs and industry insiders have been hypothesizing it’s next steps. The first big step came with the release of the iPhone 3GS. Because of it’s integrated video camera and GPS the applications are now very numerous. This took the ability for AR into the world and not tethered to the desk. The question is what’s next.
When it comes down to it the basics are done… there is nothing more to invent. There I said it! NOTHING MORE TO INVENT! Now don’t get all crazy and think I’m nuts or ill informed. I have the belief that it is invented and that’s that, but we can and will invent new uses for the technology. So whats happening & where is it going? The applications taking a real innovative use of the technology and hardware to bring us things like; Nearest Tube an AR app that locates the closest subway station to your location, ARhrrrr! a Zombie massacre game (a personal favorite) – this was built over at SCAD using some nifty NVIDIA devices(you walk around a printed map of a city viewing the 3D world through the screen of the device). There are even leaked info on an AR Twitter app for the iPhone 3GS. PSP fans will be able to hunt for Invizimals in the real world very soon. These are only the advances in the mobile space. As you might have seen on a previous post here, BMW is looking at how to use AR to aid it’s mechanics in servicing their cars.
I am trying to envision how UX specialists and designers will be able to take this same approach to the web and interfaces for sites. Will there be sites that can be interacted with on your desktop? How far are we from Minority Report style user interface? Imagine moving content around your desk to move content around the interface. Now these pose some UX problems. How do you actually focus on both places correctly? The percentage of users with web cams isn’t 100%. Will they require costly peripherals (goggles?) to view? I do hope that the usages will move past games. Games seem to be the perfect fit for AR and they are. It would be so cool to have controls you can physically move in real time to control characters or game play on your screen. This will also give users greater immersion into the experience. Perhaps even integrating your environment into the game you are playing… racing little toy cars across your desk and avoiding your pens or coffee mug would be sweet!
As the future is becoming the present and then the past what does it hold for Augmented Reality? Where do you see it going? How are you planning on using it for your clients and projects?