Augmented Reality Glasses: The ultimate Christmas gadget?
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.
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?