Toby was generous enough to write a post full of predictions. Therefore, for sake of readability, I chose not to put his words in "blockquote", and just paste them below. I know it's long, but it's well worth the read. Many of his predictions are original and if only half of them come true, we are going to have a very exciting year.
...was definitely the year of AR awareness for the public. Lots of people heard the first time of the term and had their first experience with the technology on fairs, shop windows or with smartphone fun. So many magazines interviewing us, the AR community, and so many agencies hacking their own presentations.
Technology-wise I'm a bit pessimistic on AR handheld device development and HMD/HUD news for the public to be frank. I'm expecting a HMD to hit the market late 2010 and some early adopters running around with it in the tube, but it won't be a landslide e.g. as the iphone-in-everyones-pocket in the US.
My two most probable predictions for 2010 (not judging) were already taken by rouli (Augmented Playboy and Apple patenting AR) - but anyway, just for the fun I'll collect some more ideas:
With project Natal's release the term AR will get another push forward as the Wii had with input when it came out. Natal games combining the camera with the motion capturing system will gain popularity and will become the default way of having fun in your living room. As an outcome more and more researchers and companies will focus on easy interaction paradigms. People will start getting annoyed with joysticks or things to grab. They will expect gesture waving interaction instead of multitouch. If you don't offer gesture interaction as an agency you are not cool anymore. Architecture AR Projections and Digital City Art will expand much much more and people will expect an easy interaction, too. If you can only LOOK at augmented city installations agencies will get bad criticism. It has to be interactive - even in this huge scale.
Google's goggle and their own device will push the community forward and people will extend the location GPS based services through image recognition features due to faster hardware. Google's NDK and 4x faster CPUs will not only drain the battery but also offer speed-ups for mobile AR apps. Waiting periods will be reduced and more and more people will choose a smartphone over an old candybar. People will forget to caption their images, to remember names or to memorize bus schedules. Everybody will have his nomenclature in his or her pocket to work as a personal assistant (PA). A battle will start among life-supporting PA information providers and social ostracism will occur when your peer group uses GoogleAR-PA over AppleAR-PA... Companies will exploit this target group idea ruthlessly.
A big social discussion will be triggered when google launches their HMD device connected to Android. People will form strikes and rallies against technology addiction. A huge discussion splits the community for people claiming that google misuses the user's HMD cameras to track the whole world in real-time. If you don't opt-out, your vision will be part of the whole google community and will be used for a pedestrianStreetView add-on and image search. Plus, the first AR-PA-addiction-self-help group will be founded. People complain in Jerry Springer and others about their loved ones not remembering friend's names nor dates nor streetnames without their augmentations. At least one church will start a witch hunt against AR technology being evil.
Another mobile AR app will gain the popularity as big as facebook's and draw people into the system. Finally all big mobile AR apps will support a common interface and the social connectivity will be the only interesting thing for the crowd. You will hardly see anyone go "WOW" in 2010 over a tweet floating above your friend. The masses will become AR pros and ask the same questions that -so far- only we were asking. It won't be enough to show low-poly 3D in your view.
Realism will gain a level of detail that makes movie makers cry. As an antidote Warner decides to start a new way of film making by letting people in real-time experience a movie like blair witch project with AR systems. A new genre arises and a silly term will get coined, like "Moving PictARs". The social experience will yield in different outcomes of a storyline, giving headaches to movie critics writing their reports.
OK, that's my quick overview. I'm definitely hoping for fast 3D feature tracking on a outdoor/global scale and for real-time lighting to be quick enough for a 100% convincing integration of AR. For me the most important issue is the output device, where we unfortunately have a long road to go before we have Denn? Coil... Damnit! "
[editor note: wow!]
AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion? - Our online poll
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 - Thomas Wrobel's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 4 - Augmented Planet's Lester Madden's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 5 - The Future Digital Life's Thomas Carpenter's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 6 - Noah Zerkin's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 7 - Gene Becker's predictions.