Pulse Check on Augmented Reality

Reality realitycheckahead

This morning Mehdi invited me to attend CB Web Le Club’s “Augmented Reality” breakfast.  I was keen to attend because as you may have smelled Europe is leading the planet in AR technology and application advancements.  If you know me well, you know that I don’t use the term “leading” lightly. 

Thanks to progress made in the hardware industry, interactive media in all its forms, including AR, but also immersive virtuality, real-time 3D, etc, is slithering into your daily life perhaps without you noticing.  And when your shiny new 3D TV is happily installed chez toi, you’ll be getting even more of it. 

In fact, just like when you’re shopping for bio products at the grocery store, soon you’ll know if the products (not necessarily in the grocery store) you buy are linked to AR applications or not.  Yes, there’s talk of an AR label for packaging.  Total Immersion presented their proposition for this label, sharp looking indeed. 

Even Banking, categorically one of the most boring industries, has jumped on the AR wagon.  This morning BNP (a major French bank) tooted its SPOT application.  With your iPhone camera and SPOT you can scan the city for the nearest BNP bank, view its open-for-business hours, etc.  We’ve seen this type of thing with Layar for real estate.  Point your iPhone to a building to see if it contains an apartment for sale, and if so, what are the architectural and financial specs? 

Why will people adopt AR?  We assume because it will make our lives more fun and augment our experiences.  But I’d like to offer up a different perspective that was briefly mentioned this morning.  We all learn differently.  Some of us learn by seeing.  Some of us learn by hearing.  Some of us learn by doing.  What Augmented Reality could offer is learning by all three ways integrated. 

Do you buy this theory?  I’d love to know your thoughts . . .