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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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Earbuds that are noise cancelling hit the market just in time for the holidays

(TECH NEWS) There are no shortage of earbuds on the market, however, Nuheara’s noise cancelling, bluetooth earbuds are sure to top everyone’s wish list.

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Noise cancelling earbuds are efficient for blocking out the world around you – when all you want to hear is your music and nothing else. However, for those who want a smaller, sleeker alternative, Nuheara is the perfect fit.

Nuheara are wireless audio earbuds that are customizable to your hearing needs. Even though they have the same power as noise cancelling headphones, they can be adjusted to amplify or minimize sound based on each situation.

You can choose to blend the sounds of the streets and your new favorite album in order to be aware of the world around you. The earbuds are ideal for any situation.

The noise cancelling earbuds use SINC (Superior Intelligent Noise Control) technology, which lets every user create their custom hearing experience.

There are numerous times when it’s hard to hear because of the noise around us. This may be in crowded restaurants, concerts or even when you’re at home trying to avoid the noisy neighbor in the apartment above you.

The SINC technology applies a frequency filter to sounds you choose to hear or want to avoid. Additionally, the left and right earbuds have their own settings, so that they can be customized individually. Everything is customized through the app, so it’s up to each user to decide!

Prior to founding Nuheara, Justin Miller and David Cannington worked in the oil and gas companies creating industrial strength hearing headsets.

The feedback they received during these experiences paved the way for inventing Nuheara. People wanted a sleek headset that they could wear in everyday life, not just at their job.

The earbuds will set you back a few hundred bucks, but they come with accessories like a battery charger, carrying case and 8 different silicone tips. The battery charger provides three full charges. Nuheara earbuds are also sweat and water resistant, but they are not yet waterproof.

As wireless headphones, Nuheara are also compatible with most Bluetooth connected devices. The earbuds also use tap-touch control to make hands-free phone calls, control music and adjust settings.

There is no need to connect Nuheara to external devices to use their noise cancelling capabilities.

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Turn your FAQ page into a chatbot without knowing how to code

(TECH NEWS) An easy way to add a chatbot to your site and automate some of your work is through this new simple tool that doesn’t require any tech know-how.

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Reduce your workload and personalize customer service engagement with Faqbot, the tool that turns your online FAQ into a customized chatbot.

Co-founded by Denny Wong and CEO Mathis André, Faqbot uses machine learning to streamline frequently asked questions into a handy chatbot pal.

Based on your existing FAQ content, Faqbot builds a database that learns from every conversation to improve responses. Faqbot can also be used to automate sales and lead generation.

You get to design the conversation flow, mapping out a custom path to guide users to a desired outcome. Set predefined choices or free text, customize the bot’s responses, and determine what leading questions the bot should ask.

For example, on the Faqbot site, I was given two pre-set choices to click after each response from the bot. Clicking “Thanks for helping” gets the polite response “You are welcome! ;-)” complete with an old-school emoji featuring a nose.

If you select “not my question,” Faqbot uses its general response to any unanswerable question: “Sorry, I’m a chatbot. I am constantly learning and have answers to frequently asked questions. Thank you for leaving your email and we will get back to you shortly.”

Choose your own responses based on already defined FAQ or come up with new messaging to better engage and inform your customers as needed. The free text option is also available if customers wish to continue asking questions.

Of course, I had to try out some less than frequently asked questions. When I asked Faqbot “are we friends?” it kindly replied, “Absolutely. You don’t have to ask.” So I’m smitten.

However, when I tried to take it to the next level by asking “Do you love me?,” which seems to be the internet’s favorite way to harass a bot, I got the “Sorry, I’m a chatbot” response.

That’s okay. I’ll recover. Faqbot isn’t here to love, it’s here to answer questions.

You can easily install the chatbot by either copy/pasting the snippet of codes directly into your webpage, or connect Faqbot to your company’s Facebook page. No coding skills required.

Pricing is based on number of users per month, but all levels include the same service offerings of FAQ database management, messaging interface, a ticketing system, and DIY guided conversation flow. You can try out Faqbot free for 14 days by signing up on their site.

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This note-taking app is perfect for the creative mind

(TECH NEWS) The newest app for note-taking could be a tremendous asset for a very specific type of creative that tools like trello and evernote fall short on… not all apps work for all people.

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If you’re like me, you’ve had many phases in your idea-having, note-taking life. There was the AP History period, where I decided the quality of my notes would be judged based on the tininess of my handwriting and the number of innovative abbreviations coined. There was the “song collection” period, in which I wrote down song and band names with reckless abandon, on any scrap of paper or non-paper within reach, and promptly scattered the scraps everywhere. There was the post-it era, in which every single idea was carefully documented on a “Sticky Note” that tiled over my Windows desktop and was impossible to find thereafter.

And then, there was Evernote, and Trello, and I thought my evolution was complete. I had neatly organized “Notebooks” and “Cards” and I felt very structured and efficient and spiritually done with my note-taking journey.

But a whisper of rebellion called out to me. It sounded musical, colorful, whimsical. It asked me whether I wouldn’t like to liberate myself from those neat lists and stacks, let my ideas flow, visualize my thoughts?

It introduced me to Milanote – the note-taking app truly made FOR images, not just tolerant of them.

Milanote markets itself toward creatives: “For the research, thinking and planning behind your next great piece of work.”

But the strengths of this app could benefit anyone who could use a more freeform space to collect their thoughts. A blank page resembles a peg board, and users can add images, notes, links, and more in any configuration their hearts desire. You can also link any elements together with a web of lines, or leave them on their own.

This could be a great app for early-stage brainstorming and planning, when you need to play around and be flexible.

Milanote can be collaborative, like Trello, or individual and personal, like my always-evolving grocery list in Evernote. Milanote currently works in any web browser, and iOs and Android apps are coming soon.

For up to 100 notes, Milanote can be yours free of charge. More than that, though, and you’ll have to pay $9.99 for the pro version.

Something tells me infinity should cost much more, but the organic, customizable concept is something to hold on to.

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