After having met all the inner-circle of the Augmented Reality realm it became evident that the hottest topic right now is wearable computers. Sure this comes in the form of Google Glass (at present) but the future holds much more promise. There are numerous players looking to launch a version of wearable and the topic is only going to get hotter.
- Will people where them?
- Where can we where them?
- What are the privacy implications?
- What can you see? What should’t you?
I believe it is Google Glass that will thrust Augmented Reality into the limelight. The AR space will go from a being a niche to mainstream acceptance within the coming 18-months and there is little anyone can do to change that. The conference I attended in May 2013 highlighted this and it seems it is the future of AR (i.e. wearables and the UX/UI that will flow-on) and there is a point of no return we’re about to encounter.
Overall, regarding wearables and in particular Google Glass, from witnessing reactions from many I was able to establish that there are three very distinct parties at the moment which are broken down into: believers, pessimists and fundamentalists. The believers don’t need much explanation. They tend to be the same early-adopters we see all around the globe and the same type which love consuming the latest developments in technology – as they occur. The latter two are the ones that will trigger Glass success and potentially affect the take-up of Augmented Reality as an acceptable form of communication.
Can of worms
I tend to be one of those that think Google Glasses are a step closer and that Glass will push AR into the mainstream and therefore highlight AR’s potential to create a world of immersive technologies. Like many AR fundamentalists however I tend to side with those that think Google Glass will put a chill on AR, as they are designed incorrectly and lack of direction may highlight their use for evil, not good. And even worse, they yend to pose more questions (safety, privacy, limited experience) than they currently answer.
I tend to see all three as valid, however with my experience in Tablet computing and having witnessed Tablets go from niche to mainstream, I know that emotions run high from “founders and enthusiasts” vs. “newcomers and profiteers,” Ultimately the industry is potentially worth trillions of dollars so it’s kind-of inevitable that the topic will only become more and more heated as people utilize Glass, and abuse Glass.