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Home » Mobile, News, Opinion, Technology

Augmented Reality Glasses: The ultimate Christmas gadget?

Submitted by on Thursday, 23 February 20128 Comments

The New Times in the UK ran an interesting piece in their newspaper recently proclaiming that AR glasses will be here by the end of the year. Even better they went on to say that they will cost as little as £160 (US$ 250).

The article goes on to say that both Google and Apple are working on AR enabled glasses and they throw in a quote from 9to5Googleblog that claims the system is easy to use.  While Google haven’t confirmed or denied the rumours, I have no doubt that both Google and Apple are working on such devices. They are not alone; it’s a sexy technology with many companies investing significant amounts of funds into their R&D departments to develop and bring the technology market.

While these particular rumors that claim Google are about to release their devices to market have been circulating for several weeks now, I have to admit that I am sceptical that AR is about to become the essential must have gadget in time for Christmas. I’m not backtracking on my 15 – 20 years away statement as there is still a long way to go between being commercially available and indispensable, but I have downgraded what I think the first generation of devices will do.

Picture source: The Times newspaper (Murad Ahmed)

My initial expectations of AR glasses were they would offer the full richness of AR. E.g, location services, face recognition, image recognition etc, but I have come to expect they will be extensions to our mobile devices screen. Instead of highly advanced services, you’ll be able to check and reply to incoming emails, check your location and other simple services. Hopefully developers will be provided with an API to build to build their own services.

How far away are mobile AR glasses from being commercially available?

If (miraculously) AR glasses were released later this year, we’d all be in the queue. Once the novelty period is over, what do you actually want AR glasses to do? What is the killer app that will keep you using them?

Location based AR is obviously very interesting, but do you really want to be reminded where the nearest Starbucks is as you walk down the high street?  Do you want 3D content to spontaneously trigger and appear whenever a target is recognised?

What is your ultimate killer app?

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8 Comments »

  • Simon Dufour said:

    You want to know what my killer apps are? It’s quite simple really.

    Google Goggle
    Evernote
    Google Task
    Tasker
    Picture app
    Wikipedia
    Twitter

    That’s all.

    If I can start using my Android’s features without actually taking my phone out. If I can take a quick pic and send it to Google+ in a simple blink of the eye. I’d be the happiest person ever.

    Then, if restaurants want to put marker based advertising, i’d be glad too! I mean.. it’d be cool.. as long as it’s respectful. If I could record the contact information of someone simply by nodding at them. How sweet would that be?

    I think the killer apps are already here. What AR glasses do is let you use the same apps we already find awesome and put it always on and more effective.

    Give me my heart rate and runkeeper info. Give me Google map info when I need them. Merge this with me. That’s all I want. I want it to be merged in me.. and I think that AR Glasses would do just that.

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  • Job Wallis said:

    Once these devices go through the hype cycle and come out of the “trough of disappointment” (that current corporate logo AR marketing is in) and into the “slope of enlightenment” I believe they will have developed 3D capability. Im not sure if the first generation will be 3d capable? But if they are Im sure it will be rubbish (or hot). Virtual overlays of the realworld creating hybrid reality will give an understanding of proposed designs and processes (eg construction) , vision of this will be able to inform and train (next place allen key into hex head bolt and tighten). Besides all this will be entertainment and a whole other world of total immersion.

  • Beth said:

    I agree. It helps that games help drive technology like AR. The ever-increasing specs of PC games have been dinvirg the speed of computers higher while bringing down the costs.

  • Darko_Kun said:

    There is a anime series called Dennō Coil. It’s about AR glasses and the way people use them in their everyday lives. The way they use the AR glasses on the show is how I would like AR glasses to work. It’s really a great show and worth watching it if you are interested in AR.

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