Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Is anyone really using augmented reality?

While AR (augmented reality) has been out for a few years now, I'm still having a tough time finding anyone that really uses it...  I know it has been downloaded millions of times, but that doesn't mean it gets used for more than the first few minutes and never again...

The concept is relatively simple....   Hold the device up, point the camera at the street around you, and see all of the people, places, and things appear on the screen (filter on certain things to pinpoint information)...    

There are definitely some cool use cases for the product:  Finding the nearest ATM, supermarket, gas station, etc.    I'm still not convinced folks that have downloaded it really use it to the full potential (I'm one of those people). 
So for the month of December, I am going to try to live my life in more of an augmented world (my kids think I do already).   If I need to find the nearest liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine, I will be using my AR application to get me there (now I need to see if it will find me the best price for a bottle of Merlot).   Locate a gas station, find a Starbucks, pinpoint a Fedex drop box, you get the picture.  I promise, none of this will be done while driving...

Now the second part of AR has to do with finding friends and connections.  Since I have a tough time finding any of my friends using it, that might be a tough one.   I'm not sure I want strangers bumping into me on AR or connecting with random people on the street (can you say stalker).

What software vendor has been doing AR the longest?  Wikitude!   The platform has a pretty extensive set of features and capabilities and runs on almost any mobile OS available.

Check it out here: http://www.wikitude.com/

Many smartphone companies are also building this type of capability directly into the phone (the Nokia Lumia 920 with Nokia City Lens is the latest).

Wish me luck!   You can find me @ myworld on wikitude (linked to Facebook)
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