Augmented Reality

I found this article on TechCrunch on augmented reality particularly interesting because last week I presented on the advent of virtual fitting rooms in my Tech Trends Decal last week. I retrieved this definition from Mashable of augmented reality: “Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.”

So how promising is AR and what can we expect from it in the future? The TechCrunch article “Four Perspectives on Augmented Reality and its Future” surveys four experts in the developing field of AR on their views on it. Vikas Reddy, co-founder of Occipital believes there is still a long way to go before AR technology can be truly revolutionary. However, with improvements in computer vision algorithms and hardware we may soon be able to visually interact with the real world the way we interact with our smartphones and other interactive devices.

A game designed on the basis of augmented reality, “Sharky the Beaver” by Sphero allows users to control a robotic ball whose movements manipulate a virtual “Sharky” that jumps around and eats cupcakes. A cute and novel idea, Sharky’s true value lies within the fact that it is available as an SDK for other developers in augmented reality.

Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case comments on the future of AR saying “Games and tacky 3D animations will only go so far in AR. The real measure of AR is when it solves real-world problems that may seem boring and everyday with realistic and minimal interface.”

So maybe with improvements in camera technology, will virtual fitting rooms solve real-life problems (like online shopping on Cyber Monday!)? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

One Comment

  1. Augmented reality has been getting a ton of attention in the past few weeks! I really like how AR’s been moving away from the GPS-based solutions into the more computer vision based applications. I saw this down in Qualcomm in their showroom and I think it is a really cool use of AR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKwLBWCKs94.

    Also with the clothing thing, I have a friend working on a fitting-room tool where you take a picture of the shirt/pants, and it digitally stitches it together on a model that is based on your own body-type with 3d rendering and fitting. I’ve seen some of the demos and it really looks like it’s coming together. I’d definitely say that technology will soon be available to consumers online (Amazon?) in a few years.

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