Dutch magazine for professionals ‘Intermediair’ (printed over 100k times each week, and available through the internet (www.intermediair.nl) placed an enormous QR code on it’s frontpage last week. It’s header was (roughly translated): “Augmented Reality. Does it add something to your reality?”.
The question it raised is one that gets you pondering. In order to answer questions as:
• what does it add to my reality,
• what applications are envisable,
• and how to make a profit with it,
one really needs to adress the paramount question of: what is augmented reality. The article does not answer that. It does say, however, that it’s not new. Fighterpilots use something called virtual retinal display. It’s kind of the same technology that the Predator from the Arnie movies has to browse his surroundings: check for heat, sounds, foliage, and so on. But I wonder, is AR not older than that?
What about barcodes on products? You scan a code with a device, it’s being translated into zeros and ones, interpreted by a computer and the tagged information is displayed on a screen. And why limit ourselves to electronic devices? Why not consider our mind as a device? Not an entirely new thought, if you’ve read any science fiction novels. In this case, I could in, let’s say 4,000 BC, look at rock paintings (a barcode), interpret it with my brain (computer), and read the information out loud: “there’s a lot of game to be hunted here”. Maybe I could even react and make a comment with some paint, and start a discussionstring on various ways to hunt Mammoths? It’s all basic communications. Nothing new here?
All I’m saying is: what are we trying to say, when we’re using the term AR? Let’s not use it in every sentence, just because it’s hip. Let’s keep our heads clear, and do a little research. And I guess research could be, not an advice limited to individuals, but applicable to the communications field as a whole.