The awkward arrival of augmented reality

The best thing about being on the cutting edge of implementing new technology is that it’s pretty damn exciting. The worst thing about being on the cutting edge of figuring out how new technology will be most successfully implemented is that it’s insanely challenging. If I was a bajillionaire, I’d have like five think tanks that would work nonstop on new ideas I threw at them. But I’m not and I don’t, so I guess I get to do the brainstorming myself.

Image recognition (yes, QR codes are already outdated) and Augmented Reality (AR) on mobile devices are two of the new technologies that make the neurons in my brain start firing so fast that I can’t even keep up with my own thoughts. Ben and Jerry’s is the first company I’ve seen yet (see the video below) who is using them in a way that I think will be pretty successful from a marketing/promotional angle. What they are doing is super cool, and I’m probably going to download the app even though I don’t eat ice cream.

However, when I see what they’re doing, I realize it’s only a crude preview of what this technology is capable of, what it will become and, most importantly, what it will be used for. Here you see it used on a mobile phone, but just imagine what AR on an iPad could be, and I’m not talking about for silly cartoonish purposes…I mean for – well, I’ve got some ideas, but you don’t get to hear them. I want to keep my competitive edge, after all. Now I feel like I shouldn’t even be showing you this video. In fact, forget that you even read this post.

2 thoughts on “The awkward arrival of augmented reality

  1. It is so frustrating seeing companies almost get it. AR is, indeed, super duper awesome, but I have yet to see an implementation that has much practical value in my life. Most stuff is just advertising utilizing the novelty. Sony (yeah, the company that everyone loves to hate right now, myself included) just showed off a super responsive AR application. Perhaps by removing technical limitations we will see better developments and use cases.

    Anyhow, if you want to see a the Sony video, here is the link to Engadget’s write-up:
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/19/sony-smartar-delivers-high-speed-markerless-augmented-reality-b/

  2. Hey Matthew. I found your blog because I was managing the Twitter account for the Mile High Social Media Club & came across you.

    Though I don’t have a PhD, we have some similar experiences… I just finished working for The Seed Company, a part of Wycliffe Bible translators. I managed their social media. So I thought it was interesting that you’re in Denver & are a Christian that’s into social media.

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