Did you know an assortment of augmented reality (AR) applications are being released that are about to shift our reality as we know it? Unlike virtual reality, AR programs keep you in your current environment but provide technology that allows you to augment your experience. For example, an AR application could help you identify the constellations within the stars at night or translate signs the airport of a foreign country to another language for you instantly. The applications for AR technology are endless and the possibility it offers could truly shift our lives dramatically.

The Place of AR Software In Our Lives

If you’ve kept up to date with the latest tech gadgets, then you probably know about Google Glass. These wearable devices are an example of AR technology that places a layer of digital information over the reality as you see it. It can provide maps, weather updates and much more complex functions to enhance your everyday experience.

But Google Glass is just the beginning of the possibilities available through AR. A second wave of technology is about to completely shift our lives forever. But don’t worry. Unlike many science fiction movies, AR is not going to turn people into cyborgs. Instead AR technologies are designed to enhance the creativity and experience inherent in being a human. The technology aims to augment our reality by extending the limits beyond what was previously capable.

Technology has been augmenting the human experience since the 1970s. Take Dr. Steve Mann for example. He invented a wearable computer device designed to enhance his eyesight and has been seeing better since the 1970s. Similar technology has been put into prosthetic limbs transforming a disability into an extraordinary performance.

AR Software Must Provide Service to Be Accepted

Although the possibilities for AR technology are endless, the innovative software must clearly demonstrate its value to us in order to be as universally accepted as personal computing. Only with trust in the technology, people at large will experience the complete benefits.

Not far down the horizon is the likelihood of AR applications revolutionizing our mobile devices. With AR technology, we will begin to experience more reciprocal relationships with our devices. For example, they will be able to anticipate our needs and provide service without us having to ask. These devices will be able to become a portable assistant to handle our common needs with the implementation of augmented reality software.

In a similar vision of the future vice president of the research firm Gartner, Carolina Milanesi expects that by 2017, smartphones will be as versatile as a personal assistant. Many of the mundane tasks professionals need to handle like responding to simple emails or scheduling appointments can be outsourced to the devices. The devices will also be able to adapt to our changing environment and alert us as needed.

“If there is heavy traffic, [your smartphone] will wake you up early for a meeting with your boss, or simply send an apology if it is a meeting with your colleague,” said Milanesi.

Changing the Way We Interact with Technology

In order for these new technologies to be implemented, the way people have been interacting with technology has to change. According to Brian David Johnson of Intel describes the human relationship with technology as a command-and-control relationship. We tell the technology to do something and out comes a response.

AR technology requires a degree of humility from its user. An ability to listen to the information that is coming in and be able to accept it. Nevertheless, we have clearly become more reliant on technology to fulfill the menial tasks of our societal existence like paying bills, providing directions, and now even monitoring our health.

As AR technology continues to develop, it must still be able to serve our lives. If the technology makes our lives easier and extends our humanity to new reaches, new doors will open up that offer new possibilities and unexplored arenas.

Some interesting facts based on Juniper Research, that demonstrates Augmented Realities growth and awareness:

  • 30% of mobile subscribers will use Augmented Reality at least once a week in 2016,
  • 864 million mobile phones will be Augmented Reality enabled by 2015,
  • 2.6 billion Augmented Reality app downloads by 2017,
  • 1 billion active Augmented Reality users are projected by 2020
  • Where Does Innovation End?

    Yes, people will become more reliant on this new wave of AR technology if it becomes widely accepted. But in order for this to happen, functionality for every day use must be at its core. If we endlessly pursue optimized human performance and productivity, what end are we aiming for?

    Why must we be so efficient? If this new AR technology allows us to spend more time on activities we love or with our family, then it’s purpose has been served. Hopefully it can get us away from the screen and so we can appreciate the beauty in the interaction with the world around us.

    EKI Digital is working with businesses of all sizes, and in various industries to help them benefit by designing, and deploying Augmented Reality as a tool to improve how they connect customers in new ways. To learn more about this service please contact us at Info@eki-digital.com.

    What are your thoughts on AR technology? Please share your comment.