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The coming wave of augmented reality

Molly Wood Dec 22, 2010
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The coming wave of augmented reality

Molly Wood Dec 22, 2010
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Forrester Research this week predicted an impending boom in the field of “augmented reality.” Soon, we won’t even need to put that term in quotation marks. It will be an everyday expression. Augmented reality is mostly commonly used to mean the overlaying of digital images onto a real scene. So you’ll point your smart phone’s camera at your car and you’ll see repair manuals, operator instructions, auto part stores that can help. It’s reality but with more to it. Reality plus.

Blair McIntyre directs the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech. He tells us that this field has been around for a while. Think of the first down market in televised football games, for instance. But for an everyday user, the applications were too slow and the devices to run them couldn’t process fast enough. But now the apps are more efficient and the smart phones get stronger all the time.

Futurist Paul Saffo tells us that infrastructure is also preparing for this potential boom. Sensors are cheap and plentiful. As a result, more parts of the world — buildings, landmarks, stores — can be made more chatty. They’ll be able to tell you about themselves.

Also in this show, Glen Toothman is the founder of Memory Medallion, a company that makes barcodes for headstones. You scan them, then you go to the web to learn more about that person’s life.

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