Augmented Reality is Rounded Corners

Earlier today, Thomas Carpenter posted this video and asked whether the augmented reality mode adds anything to the application.

The answer is probably not. In my opinion we are seeing AR evolving into a cool feature for location based services, much like rounded corners was the cool thing to have if you were a web 2.0 application. Yes, in some applications, like Layar and Wikitude, augmented reality is currently a major feature, but in the long run its the location-oriented content they should focus on, not on how to present it.

Having augmented reality as just another cool feature is not a bad thing. It can actually be the thing that saves it from following the same path that virtual reality went by. Obviously, the hardware today is not good enough for terminator-vision grade of AR. However, having augmented reality play a low-key role for now may keep it around till we'll have the right hardware.

Or maybe I'm just reading too much into a Youtube video. Oh, that reminds me - the application is called WorkSnug, and you can find more about it here.


Richard Leyland/WorkSnug said...

Good Morning

I came to you via Thomas Carpenter's blog. Just thought I'd repost my comment from over there, over here!

We decided to use Augmented Reality for our app for a couple of reasons. The first is that it presents a nice way to cut through the complexity of the city lay-out (”oh yeah, it’s that way”). So in that sense it does offer more than just a Nearest X type app. The second reason is that it was fun!

I take your point about AR apps though – We shouldn’t get carried away about the delivery method. We hope the value of our app is in the content, which we pounded the streets to capture ourselves.

Thanks again.

Richard Leyland/WorkSnug

Anonymous said...

I suddenly got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when you mentioned VR. Everybody and their brother is suddenly doing the same type of AR app in dozens of different ways. Same thing happened with VR. When Second Life finally realized they could offer something differently, it left a bad taste in peoples mouths if they were following in another program. They lost interest, especially the sponsors.

Right now AR is being branded into a corner as a visual navigation help. It is so much more than that! There must be at least six apps by now that all do the same thing. AR desperately needs the visualization hardware to advance from a one trick pony into the myriad of possibilities the rest of us have anticipated.

If AR dies on the vine now, it will be years before anyone even touches it. And then it will be seen as just another VR app. It will be too late to bring it back as a primary computing interface by then.

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