Augmented Reality getting real

I commented on this note by Windsor Holden at Juniper Research:

Mobile Augmented Reality – More Retention, Less Gimmicks – AnalystXpress – the Juniper Research

Augmented Reality will come natural to services like Foursquare and Facebook, as the cost for adding it is low, at least for mundane location tasks. They already have the needed data and APIs. What’s lacking is mobile app support for it.

Note that location is not just about latitude and longitude, but also altitude and possibly speed and heading. Landmarks in Facebook, Foursquare etc don’t store altitude, but it would add information if you are in a place with high rise buildings, subways etc. Speed and heading would add information to moving locations/landmarks.

That triggers a lot of possibilities, some that could be considered pure novelties, but you never know what will “stick” beforehand:

  • see where someone else has set up a meeting point while you go there, and about what
  • follow “tracks” in your heads-up display (coming soon 🙂 …) while running
  • play games together with others involving finding places or fighting creatures in the air, or creeping up from the ground (remember Half Life 2?) etc
  • play games or perform tasks on your desktop or whiteboard
  • see art and other objects at places where there’s just open space or suitable placeholders, and that you can walk around and affect in different ways
  • see how close the bus, taxi or ice cream van is to your location
  • see the fastest route between places while you see the surroundings
  • see the subway tracks and the trains while walking on the street
  • see flight routes in the sky
  • etc etc

Interestingly, video games have used heads-up displays with augmented reality for many years, so it’s a good point to start there in terms of what can be done, and how augmented reality information could be presented.

You can find out more about location technologies in Tutorials / Location.