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Top five augmented reality innovations of the future

When looking through a camera lense, augmented reality unveils computer generated images superimposed onto the real world, like the yellow stripes on the football field only viewers at home can see. The future is bright for this technology, and one futurist opines on what’s next.

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The future of augmented reality

David Houle, author of Entering the Shift Age, out in January, mines the present trajectory of technology to offer a portentous vision of what the future of technology holds.

According to Houle, we have left the Information Age and entered the Shift Age, a period in human history where change has become the new norm. As a futurist, since 2007, Houle has been defining this age and forecasting what it means and could mean for humanity.

“Looking ahead, it is clear that augmented reality will be one of the major new technologies of the Shift Age,” he notes, revealing what he believes could be the top five augmented reality (AR) innovations of this new age. In his own words below, Houle looks into his crystal ball to reveal what the future of AR:

Innovation one: AR Glasses

In a few short years, many of us will routinely wear glasses that augment our reality. Google looks to be first out of the gate on this with their “Glass” glasses, to be released in 2013. Merging the physical reality with the screen reality, a mini-camera on the frame conveys what you are seeing to the data cloud, which will provide information on it to one of the lenses. This provides immediate visual search information.

These glasses will quickly develop in functionality between 2013-2015 and will become commonplace both in the workplace and, eventually, for leisure.

Innovation two: free and paid AR apps

As we look at the world through our smartphones and AR glasses, corporations will develop both specialized and general apps in both free and paid mode.

In free mode, the corporation will aggregate and provide information on various topics and experiences and have their logo always on display. On a consumer level, think of Corona beer sponsoring the app of the world’s beaches. This will further tie their beach branding to the actual experience and exploration people can have at any beach. Social media commentary on bars, restaurants and the best places to surf will be ever expanding as people add to the content.

In paid mode, a consumer or business will charge a small amount for a particular AR interface for which they are adding curatorial value tied to their expertise.

Innovation three: AR education and trade goggles

The perceived skills gap in the workplace, and the expensive inefficiencies of higher education, will be addressed by these in-depth, programmable goggles to teach a specific skill or mastery of a subject matter. Say you are an auto mechanic used to working on internal combustion engines and a new dealership opens up that sells electric cars. Rather than having to take a course over a number of months or weeks, you will be able to be guided right away, in real time, on how to work on the electric engine.

Innovation four: Brainwave AR

We are now in the early stage of computer–brainwave interface. As this develops, it will move into AR. We can be looking at something and thinking imaginatively about what we see, and it will be created as we think. An example might be an architect looking at a vacant land site and thinking about what design of building would best suit the site.

Innovation five: Second Stage AR headsets and pods

This is when the technology has advanced so far, say in the early 2020s, that what we will experience in full AR mode will be stored by our neurological systems so powerfully that we may wonder: is it real or AR? This of course will take us into deeper issues of morality.

The takeaway

Augmented reality is a very young technology, with its future still fully before it, and we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. Not only for personal use, but for professional, the implications are massive and could prove to be one of the most important technologies in the next few decades.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. ric_holland

    December 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    @SammiMarks

  2. ric_holland

    December 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    @SammiMarks Thanks for the card and presi xx

  3. Petter Emil Anderssen

    January 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I’m thinking augmented reality games, and societies, where people start living in a different world, and eventually you could walk down the street beside a projection(as in seeing him through the glasses, etc) of your best buddy, from the other side of the globe..

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Not just for gaming: How virtual reality can save PTSD patients

(TECH NEWS) Thanks to its ability to simulate situations safely, virtual reality technologies are proving effective in therapy for PTSD patients.

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Woman wearing a VR headset in warm sunny lighting, PTSD patients treatment

Over the last year, a great many people have developed a new and sometimes dangerous relationship with a new emotional state, anxiety. I know that personally I’d never had a panic attack in my life until the middle of the pandemic. For many these emotions have taken the form of actual disorders. Actual mental influences which affect everyday life on a large scale. One of the most common forms of which is PTSD.

This disorder has many different aspects and can affect people in a number of different and debilitating ways. Finding treatments for PTSD patients and other anxiety disorders – especially treatments that don’t involve drugging people into oblivion has been difficult.

A lot of these disorders require exposure therapy. Putting people back into similar situations which caused the original trauma so that their brains can adjust to the situation and not get stuck in pain or panic loops. But how do you do that for things like battlefield trauma. You can’t just create situations with gunfire and dead bodies! Or can you?

This is where VR starts coming in. Thanks to the falling cost of VR headsets, noted by The Economist, psychologists are more capable of creating these real world situations that can actually help people adjust to their individual trauma.

One therapist went so far as to compare it to easy access opioids for therapy. This tool is so powerful that of the 20 veterans that they started with, 16 of them no longer qualify for the categories of PTSD. That’s a 75% success rate with an over-the-counter medicine. I can think of antihistamines and painkillers that aren’t that good.

I’ve grown up around PTSD patients. The majority of my family have been in the military. I was even looking at a career before I was denied service. I have enough friends that deal with PTSD issues that I have a list of things I remember not to invite certain people to so as not to trigger it. Any and every tool available that could help people adapt to their trauma is worthwhile.

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Tired of email spam? This silly, petty solution might provide vindication

(TECH NEWS) If you struggle to keep your inbox clean thanks to a multitude of emails, the widget “You’ve Got Spam” could provide some petty catharsis.

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Email icon with 20 possible spam emails on phone screen.

We’re all spending a lot of time behind our computers and inside of our inboxes these days, so it makes sense that some people—not naming names—might be sick of seeing several unsolicited emails a day from marketers and other unsavory businesses.

While we can’t recommend a mature, adult solution that hasn’t already been beaten to death (looking at you, “inbox zero” crowd), we can recommend a childish one: Signing solicitors up for spam.

If you do decide to go the petty route, “You’ve Got Spam”—a free email widget from MSCHF—has you covered. Upon installing the widget, you can configure it to respond automatically to incoming cold-marketing emails with tons of subscriptions to spam sources, thus resulting in overwhelming the sender with a crowded inbox and cultivating a potentially misplaced sense of catharsis for yourself.

The widget itself is fairly simple: You only need to install it to Gmail from the MSCHF website. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. When you receive an email from a person from whom you can safely assume you’ll never be receiving favors ever again, you can open it and click the “You’ve Got Spam” icon to sign the sender up for spam lists galore.

See? Petty, but effective.

The developer page does fail to make the distinction between the promised “100” subscriptions and the “hundreds of spam subscriptions” discussed on Product Hunt. But one can assume that anyone who dares trespass on the sacred grounds of your squeaky-clean inbox will rue the day they did so regardless of the exact number of cat litter magazine subscriptions they receive.

Of course, actually using something like “You’ve Got Spam” is, realistically, a poor choice. It takes exactly as much effort to type, “We’ll pass – thanks!” as a response to anyone cold-emailing you, and you’re substantially less likely to piss off the actual human being on the other side by doing so. Services like this are heavy on the comedic shock value, but the empathy side tends to lack a discernible presence.

That said, if you absolutely must wreck someone’s day—and inbox—MSCHF’s “You’ve Got Spam” is a pretty ingenious way to do it.

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Clubhouse finally made it to Android, but has its time passed?

(TECH NEWS) Social media felt the impact of Clubhouse, but the internet moves fast, and even though it is finally on Android, it’s time may be waning.

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Woman holding book and a phone, with headphones, participating in Clubhouse.

Clubhouse finally got an Android release, and while many people clamored for such a thing months ago, others argue that it’s too little, too late.

If you aren’t familiar with Clubhouse, it’s an audio-only “social platform” that encourages discussions through live chat rooms. Users can drop into various rooms and listen to people talk, request the option to chime in, and follow a variety of rooms (or “topics”) to stay engaged over time. Users can even create their own rooms that feature them as speakers.

Clubhouse also has a certain allure to it in that the app requires new users to put their names on a waitlist that creates an “invite-only” culture of exclusivity.

But while iPhone users have had access to Clubhouse since its inception, Android users have been not-so-patiently waiting for their own release—and, now that Clubhouse for Android is available, it may have outstayed its welcome.

Part of the problem is the launch itself. The Android Clubhouse app launched with limited functionality; Android users weren’t able to follow the topics they like, change their account information, and so on. This made the release feel underwhelming, further highlighting Clubhouse’s affinity for Apple users.

A more complicated problem is the prevalence of audio options in other social media services. Slack, for example, recently released their audio-only rooms, and services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have placed a spotlight on voice-only mediums of expression.

Initially, Clubhouse was the only app to incorporate audio as a strong central focus, but the ubiquitous fascination with voice-posting has expanded to comprise most major communication platforms. As such, Clubhouse’s sought-after exclusivity is no more—something that was also arguably damaged by expanding to Android.

It should be noted that interest in the app itself is decreasing, and not just on Android. Social Media Today reported that, in March of 2021, Clubhouse downloads were down 72 percent from February’s 9.6 million downloads. The publication also pointed out that difficulty finding rooms was a substantial issue that is unlikely to do anything but worsen with a surge of Android users, necessitating some back-end fixes from the owners.

As it sits, Clubhouse is still very much in use, and Android users are poised to reignite interest as iOS users stagnate. Whether or not that interest will persevere in the current social media ecosystem remains to be seen.

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