Saturday, July 28, 2012

Not too distant future of Augmented Reality

Do you recognize what movie this scene is from?

It's from Terminator 2 Judgement Day.  It was released in 1991.  If you look at graphics, it looks a bit dated with monochromatic rendering and bunch of texts.  But the idea of Augmented Reality is very much current.  With much anticipated Google Glass launch and other vendors working on wearable AR device, this can be in consumers' hands in a next couple of years.

Often future technologies are depicted in movies quite accurately.  It's because movies are made by storytellers with lots of imaginations.  Storytellers are interested in telling stories and how technologies can solve problems that movie characters have.  It just takes time for engineers and business folks to catch up with their imagination and deliver solutions.

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002 - 2003) is a good example of this.  It is full of futuristic ideas yet if many ideas are just few years to being realized.  I can also see some of them already happening.

Check out this scene where people are gathered around virtual chatroom to talk about a topic:

When I first saw Twitter hashtag, I could not help but to think of the above scene from Ghost In the Shell.  The way people all over the world are participating in the conversation while live discussion is on-going; it is exactly what Twitter is today.

I see AR taking big leap in the next couple of years as well.  With Google and others spending resources to offer consumer version of AR tools, real-life meeting can be much different than the way we meet today.  Just imagine how we used to schedule meetings without emails or without phone.  In several years from now, we may have to synch our AR versions before we meet up.

Have trouble picturing what the world with full-on AR might look?  This video clip will help you get the picture:

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