What Revolution Will Come Out of this Recession?

I stole the next graph from Michael Tamblyn's very interesting talk "6 Projects That Could Change Publishing for the Better". You can find his slides here, and see a recording of his talk here.

The black line is US (?) unemployment rates since 1960. The colored columns mark recessions in that period, the last column marks our current recession. As you can see, each recession, apart from the one in the early 70's, gave birth to a new social/technological revolution. Of course, this graph is biased (as Tamblyn himself mentions). It doesn't cover technological revolutions during periods of growth, and it doesn't mention failures. Keeping this in mind, let's assume for a minute that some paradigm change will come out of this recession, will it be augmented reality?
Obviously, it's rather difficult to judge right now. Let's take a look at another graph created by Google Trends, comparing AR with other "futuristic technologies":

We can see that when comparing search volumes, AR has a slow increase in recent years, while other technologies have quite a decrease in volumes. In the last couple of months, AR is even on the brink of bypassing VR. As for news mentions, only nanotechnology is considerably more popular than AR. Seems very optimistic, till you compare AR with other, more current technologies (some would say, more current buzz words):

AR increase in search volumes seems puny relative to the dramatic increase in searches of "cloud computing". The same goes with news references. Yet, I'm still optimistic. AR is still in its infancy. AR is at a stage where cloud computing was two years ago. Most people still think of it as a cool novelty and don't get the many possibilities it creates. Let's check back in two years and look at the graphs once more. If augmented reality can show the same growth as "cloud computing" did, it could really be the revolution that came out of this recession.


Post a Comment