Have you ever wanted to tag public monuments with graffiti? Cockfight pet velociraptors? Bomb your neighbor’s house? Debate philosophy with a British rabbit? Experience hallucinations without psychotropic drugs? Or perhaps adventure with the Mario Brothers in your own backyard? Well, my friend, I bring great news: that future is near.
Recently, there have been exciting developments in the augmented reality space. Unlike virtual reality, which replaces the real world with a simulated one, augmented reality enhances your real-world environment by embellishing it with computer-generated graphics and sound through the lens of a mobile device (tablet computer, smartphone, etc.). As the processing and sensory input hardware of these devices improve, engineers and designers are able to render more and more compelling images to your live feed. Perhaps the most sophisticated demonstration I have seen to date was engineered by Sony:
The future of augmented reality knows no bounds.
There is room for AR in marketing and commerce – imagine discovering a Groupon discount or checking Yelp ratings while walking down the street with your camera.
There is room for AR in health – imagine researching the nutritional value of your meal by scanning it with your phone or charting physical therapy improvement automatically through mobile video recordings.
There is room for AR in games – imagine interacting with characters or battling friends in real space.
There is room for AR in education – imagine pulling encyclopedia articles on an object by scanning it or embarking on digital scavenger hunts in real environments.
There is room for AR in art – imagine tagging your surroundings with artwork or navigating a collage of photos captured in your present space.
And there is room for AR in social – imagine leaving messages for friends on physical walls or seeing through walls altogether to locate your friend on the other side.
Imagine several worlds layered on top of the real world, brand new reality spectra to explore and conquer. The opportunities to create and discover await. I encourage you to watch this sector carefully.