Augmented Reality Reading List for the Weekend

Wow, it was quite a week for augmented reality, with some very interesting articles, blog posts and video lectures. It was such a prolific week, I've decided to split the weekly linkfest into two parts. Today I'm going to cover the best of the best of AR around the web, while I'm dedicating tomorrow to more mundane (but still interesting!), AR news items that I didn't have the time to write about during the week.

Inside Out: Interaction Design for Augmented Reality
Joe Lamantia of UX matters presents a very interesting overview of augmented reality from the point of view of a user interface designer. He goes through four interaction design patterns ("Head up display", "Tricorder", "Holochess", and "X-Ray vision"), and brings forward some missing patterns, that are great opportunities for AR designers and creators.
To reach its potential and avoid dismissal as a novelty technology, augmented reality needs new interaction patterns and experience concepts that address the weaknesses and gaps of this limited set of existing patterns. Only in the early stages of its evolution, augmented reality has the opportunity to refine and expand its range of interaction patterns without disrupting familiar models or incurring substantial costs.

Everything Everywhere
Tish Shute presents Thomas Wrobel’s Proposal for an Open Augmented Reality Network, based mostly on the Internet Relay Chat protocol and existing IRC servers. Wrobel goes through the advantages and disadvantages of using IRC as the basis for truly open AR network, and compares chat channels to AR layers.
People could join channels of information to view or contribute. Families could leave messages to each other scribbled in mid-air on private channels. Strangers can watch AR games being played between people in parks. People going into a restaurant could see the comments from recent guests hovering by the menu items.
None of this would have to be called up specially, if they are on the right channel when it was broadcast, they will see it.

History of Mobile Augmented Reality
Daniel Wagner of Graz University of Technology is one of the leading researchers of mobile augmented reality. In this article he brings us a detailed time line going through the evolution of mobile AR from the late sixties to our days. You should read it to gain some historic perspective, and see how many of the ideas developed today in the industry have their roots in the academy as far as fifteen years ago.
Philippe Kahn invents the camera phone, a mobile phone which is able to capture still photographs. Back in 1997, Kahn used his invention to share a picture of his newborn daughter with more than 2000 relatives and friends, spread around the world. Today more than half of all mobile phones in use are camera phones.

To Ride The AR Hype or Avoid It?
Zugara's Jack Benoff warns against the trough of disillusionment that usually comes after the peak of inflated expectation in the hype cycle model, and share some advice on how AR developers should handle it. Along the way he determines that most people will be disappointed with Layar once they'll try it, so be sure to read Raimo van der Klein (Layar's CEO) response in the comments. More on this topic from Zugara - Calm Down, Augmented Reality For Your Mobile Phone Won’t Be As Useful As Promised.

If I wanted to, I could find someone to create a 3D model and put on a marker for less than $500. No AR developer is going to survive, in the long run, if they provide a product that can be reproduced by an offshore company, for a fraction of the price. This will soon include GPS/Compass based AR, as an open source toolkit is already available. ... [companies] focusing most of their efforts on getting short term, viral publicity won’t have a viable product when the novelty of Augmented Reality wears off in a few months.

At the Dawn of the Augmented Reality Industry
Bruce Sterling's keynote address at the Layar event held at the beginning of this week. After a short introduction in which he shares his love to AR, Sterling presents the main issues and challenges AR developers are going to face in the coming few years. Security problems, cheesiness, the AR community of Kuala Lumpur, and nazi layers - you will find it all in this thought provoking talk:


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