2013: The Year of Augmented reality

2013 will probably be the year of AR.


Now at the end of last year, we are already getting a speedy embrace of Augmented reality tech. Portable gadgets like tablet pc’s, mini machines and smart phones are seemingly tailor-made for this new darling of the Information period.


So what is AR? Well, AR (or ‘augmented reality’ to its associates), is essentially the practise of using CPU created imagery and/or information onto real life descriptions (at the least the kind of AR we are discussing here is, anyway, its an open-ended expression, so post your complaints within the remarks section, please). Augmented reality might be applied to paper supplements (so when the content or images are viewed through a smart phone app they jump to life and recommend additional content), street corners (much like the app which can mention all relevant information pertaining to a restaurant, including comments, menus and exclusive offers, just by holding your phone in the direction of the eatery itself) and even the night sky (yes, some Augmented reality apps will in reality offer scientific data and Hubble telescope information on heavenly bodies and constellations as you look at them on your phone).


AR is coming together in a huge way and make no mistake about it. Google Glass, a development unveiled by Google X Lab earlier this year, is one real instance. Taking the shape of a trendy set of spectacles, Glass users can walk down the road and access any information they see fit as they are doing so. They will even be able to film their every day proceedings, or take snapshots of everything as they occur. Reality is going to be re-shaped in real time by the glasses; you can even use them to generate video calls to loved ones. Google Glass will probably be offered to developers early next year and, by the beginning of 2014, will become commercially available, together with many of other interesting products of the ilk.


Augmented reality’s influence on home enjoyment (especially video games) may even be felt, but there’s also far more ‘grown up’ uses for this technology in the pipeline. Versions of Augmented reality are already getting used to coach troopers, educate would-be surgeons and instruct firefighters in virtual burning buildings. For those who do not have the money for a smartphone, Google Glass or the rest we’ve talked about, you will see the results of Augmented reality on television sports casting (take a look at the real-time analysis overlaid on recent NFL games) and on store window marketing (disobedient high street chain Anne Summers pioneered a particularly memorable one earlier this year).


In 2013, with an abundance of funds coming in from AR applications, video games and devices, we can expect a rapid improvement of this technology. This means that by the end of next year, AR may be an inescapable fact of contemporary life. We expect Augmented reality to be a significant selling point next year, with companies offering an increased quantity of AR-ready mini games as accessories on a choice of devices plus much more AR apps being developed than at any time.


In the event you’re in training as a surgeon, a soldier, a policemen or perhaps a fireman, the chances are you’ll bump into Augmented reality (if you haven’t already) in 2013. Certainly, this won’t substitute the experience of dashing right into a burning structure, going into battle or performing complex surgery (but it is not trying to), but the possibility is there for further detailed and thorough training for professionals in these areas. In addition, it won’t be long before CEO’s and managers are holding Augmented reality-infused meetings, in which the attendees can access relevant information in real time, which will definitely beat a Powerpoint presentation any day!


In 2013, expect advertisements, paper supplements and smartphone games to contain an increasing element of Augmented reality capability. Augmented reality is taking the fast track into our lives and 2013 might be a pivotal time for this.


Next year will be the most technologically advanced time in mankind’s story to date and, if that looks like a simple thing to mention, consider the enormity of this proclamation. Much like the Net before it, AR is set to make a big splash in our lives and 2013 is going to be the biggest wave so far. Frankly, we can’t wait for it…