2013 will probably be the year of AR.
Now near the end of last year, we’re already seeing a quick adoption of Augmented reality tech. Portable gadgets such as tablet pc’s, mini consoles and smart phones are seemingly tailor-made for the new darling of the Information era.
So what’s Augmented reality? Well, AR (or ‘augmented reality’ to its associates), is essentially the practise of implementing computer generated imagery and/or information onto real life descriptions (at least the kind of Augmented reality we are talking here is, anyhow, it’s an open-ended term, so post your complaints within the comments section, please). AR might be applied to newspaper supplements (so that when the articles or pictures are viewed through a phone app they spring to life and present additional content), street corners (much like the application which will mention all relevant information pertaining to a restaurant, including reviews, menus and particular offers, just by holding your smart phone in the direction of the eatery itself) and even the night sky (yes, some AR apps will in fact offer scientific statistics and Hubble telescope information on divine bodies and constellations as you view them through your phone).
Augmented reality is coming all together in a huge way and make no mistake about it. Google Glass, a development introduced by Google X Lab earlier this year, is one real example. Taking the shape of a fashionable pair of glasses, Glass users will be able to walk down the road and access any information they see fit as they are doing so. They will even be able to film their every day proceedings, or take snapshots of everything as they happen. Reality might 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 beginning of 2014, will grow to be commercially available, together with dozens of other exciting products of that ilk.
Augmented reality’s impression on home enjoyment (especially games) may even be felt, but there’s also way more ‘grown up’ uses for this technology in the pipeline. Variations of AR are already being used to train troopers, educate would-be doctors and instruct firefighters in digital burning buildings. For those who do not have the cash for a smart phone, Google Glass or the rest we have talked about, you’ll see the results of Augmented reality on television sports casting (look at the real-time analysis overlaid on recent NFL games) and on store window advertising (disobedient high street chain Anne Summers pioneered a very memorable one earlier this year).
In 2013, with an abundance of funds coming in from Augmented reality apps, video games and gadgets, we could anticipate a rapid enhancement of this technology. Which means by the end of next year, Augmented reality may be an inescapable fact of contemporary life. We expect AR to become a major selling point next year, with companies offering an amplified quantity of Augmented reality-ready mini games as accessories on a choice of devices plus much more AR apps being developed than at any other time.
If you’re in training as a surgeon, a soldier, a policemen or a fireman, the chances are you’ll come across Augmented reality (if you have not already) in 2013. Certainly, this won’t replace the knowledge of dashing into a burning structure, going into battle or performing complex surgery (but it is not attempting to), but the possibility is there for further detailed and thorough training for experts in these areas. Moreover, it will not be long before CEO’s and managers are holding AR-infused meetings, during which the attendees can access relevant information in real time, which will definitely beat a Powerpoint presentation any day!
In 2013, expect advertisements, paper supplements and phone games to include an increasing element of Augmented reality capability. AR is taking the fast track into our lifestyles and 2013 will be a pivotal time for this.
Next year is going to be the most technologically advanced period in mankind’s history so far and, if that looks like an easy thing to mention, consider the enormity of the proclamation. Much like the Net before it, Augmented reality is about to make a big splash in our lifestyles and 2013 will be the the largest wave so far. Frankly, we could’t wait for it…