Augmented Reality is the idea of smoothly integrating media into someone's view of the physical world around them. For many people, this conjures images of science fiction films such as The Terminator and the heads up displays in modern video games.
In order to merge media with a person's view of the world, we need to know where they are, where direction they are looking and what they are looking at. Much of the early work in Augmented Reality used head-worn displays and custom-created hardware and software to track where everyone and everything was in the world around the user.
Today, instead of these expensive and one-of-kind systems, augmented reality experiences can be created with the smartphones that are in the hands, pockets and purses of millions of people around the world. Using just the sensors built into the phone, and perhaps analyzing the video from the camera, we can add graphics to this video and turn the phone into a kind of magic lens into an augmented world.
When done well, augmented reality experiences may seem magical, with virtual content appearing to be inserted seamlessly into the real world. Given the technology, then, the question before us is how to create useful and compelling experiences that would make it worth someone taking their phone out of their pocket, turning it on, and looking through it at the world around them.
Over the past twenty years, researchers have explored many possible uses of augmented reality, ranging from overlaying industrial or medical information on machinery and patients, to presenting battlespace information to soldiers or recreating cultural landmarks. Many of these task-focused systems will soon see real-world use, although many will not be practical on handheld smartphones.
The biggest area of potential growth for augmented reality on smartphones will be in consumer applications, especially those in the area of games, education, tourism, art and information access.
games is obvious. Putting content in the world
especially interesting are social. Better than wii, kinect
Perhaps one day have games where you interact with seemingly intellgent virtual characters. In AR/Facade, we put players in an apartment in the middle of a drama.
Eduation; kids, math, the natural world
Insitu education, especially when it's needed. Condom game is about teaching people proper use, using the package, so they can learn when they get them.
Tourism: re-creations of historic sites. Lots of efforts to help folks re-live the past.
My question to you is this: when you think about your own companies or populations, what are the situations where there is real value to having information appear to be out in the world around them?