A new report from Forrester Research says that while augmented reality apps have been around for a while, it's been more about the gee-whiz factor than any actual practical applications. That's because the processing muscle hasn't been up to speed with what the app wants to do, the rendering is too slow, and the whole premise of a real time digital overlay kind of collapses. But, says the report, that's in the process of changing as the apps get more efficiently designed and the machines catch up to them.

And so we can expect to see more augmented reality apps in consumer shopping, the report says. You could, for example, hold your phone over a blouse you want to buy, and see comments from other shoppers, get a product coupon or a price deal, or even find out what kind of fabric the blouse is made of.

This comes at a time when everyone has gone bonkers for the Word Lens augmented reality app which apparently doesn't work quite as well as this video would indicate but still comes pretty damn close.

  • 2010 was also supposed to be the year of augmented reality.

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