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Wearable Augmented RealityTech And Feeling Low

Submitted by on Thursday, 30 April 20094 Comments

I met up last night with a buddy of mine who is doing his MBA. I’ve had a burning idea for mobile a augmented reality  application for awhile now and wanted to run it past him. Trouble is having a good idea is not enough. Yes the technology is cool, but how will you educate people to use the camera on their smartphones as a way to retrieve information? It’s not just about killer services, it’s also about what do I really need to know right now and how will my smartphone help me.

A lot of the demos we see today involve markers and displaying an image when they are view through a device. The Mini demo is a classic example (see here)  But do you really see a world where people are taking out their smartphones on the train to work, just to look at feature rich advertisements in the magazine they are reading?, and if they are is that a sustainable business or will it become a fad? (that wasn’t my idea by the way)

I left my buddy feeling somewhat dejected but at the same time I had a lot of food for thought on what consumers really want and why augmented reality would be useful.

It would be cool to meet up with other augmented reality enthusiasts in London sometime. As the blog gets more established (we are 3 days old at the moment) we’ll sort out an augmented reality fest in a bar one evening for a night of cool demos, development, industry thoughts and what not. I’ll even try to get some industry experts along.

In the meantime, drool over what life would be like if we had wearable augmented reality technology.

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  • Lester said:

    Comment from Sergey (comments were disabled)

    Hi Lester
    Comments on you blog are turned off (require password) , so I’ll post comment here.
    The thing is, marker-based AR is suited only for games. Any non-entertainment app should use markerless tracking. Tat way you wouldn’t have to put up with problem how to teach user use markers. I have experience with marker based games – some user didn’t even understood that they have to use markers. They complained that they turned game on and nothing happen. Some other users didn’t have access to printer. And yet another didn’t understood that they have to point phone camera on the markers.
    To teach users to use markerless could be easy, but it also depend on the algorithm. If you had followed my tweets you know I complain about narrow baseline a lot. That mean for reliable 3d registration, for obtaining 3d “scan” of the environment, however rough, the baseline – distance between physical places where the camera frame used for registration was taken – should be comparable with distance to scanned object. Complete 3d registration is not necessary for markerless tracking, but it definitely preferable.

  • Lester said:

    Hi Sergey,

    Thanks for spotting the comments problem. I missed that switch in my haste to setup the blog. – comment now enabled.

    Fully agree with the marker technology, it has its uses but not so many in the real world. No one is going to walking down the street hunting down markers to get access to rich information.

    Full on board with markerless technologies. In the perfect world which was the solution I was discussing with my buddy, there wouldn’t be a whole bunch of applications on the phone each doing different things. So rather than having to load an app to give you the history of a particular building and yet another for locating the nearest ATM, you would get all this data by default when using the camera. My solution was around a plug-in model where if you happen to point at an ATM machine you are presented with a bunch of plug-ins which you can install that relate to ATMs. It would be up to the community to build these plug-ins and the user to decide which one they wanted to install. Some could be free, some could be sponsored, some you could buy etc.

    What my buddy was countering with was who is the audience for this technology (well me and everyone on this board for one), but how do you educate your family, friends and consumers that they need this. What is the usecase and the consumers need for wanting to point at an ATM to begin with. As a thought provoking question, If you went outside now with your smartphone what would you want to know?

    I’m 110% sold on it, but it was interesting having the conversation with someone who hadn’t heard of the technology as they helped me think more about the idea from a potential audience side.

  • Carmen Villadar said:

    This would have been more interesting and more convincing if the speaker actually did a LIVE DEMO of the device that was hanging around her neck. For me, watching a demo created on a video leaves much to criticize. Why? Simply because as much as I understand and can see uses for the “concepts” that were presented, how would I, viewer, be convinced that all what we saw on the video was just great editing? I would have much preferred that the speaker did a LIVE DEMO. Because she did not, then I am not totally convinced that the product works as they depict it does on the video marketing piece.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and gadgets and anything that pushes the envelope of progress, however, as much as I love the advancement in technologies in ALL fields there will always be a part of me that fears the impact and effects it will have on our human race as a whole. Then again, if the human race is moving towards THIS .. then I am only too glad that I will not be around too long to see it.

    Great blog and great efforts. Happy 3rd Day Birthday!

    Carmen Villadar

  • Jobs | Augmented Reality said:

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