Yet another wave of technology is building momentum and will soon be upon us. This time it isn’t just technology looking for a problem to solve. Augmented Reality is a way of mixing digital information and the real world in a highly interactive manner and, though in its infancy, it is already proving to be useful.
So what exactly is Augmented Reality, what are the problems it solves and what does it mean for the publishing industry? How will existing content be adapted or new content created to allow users to interact with digital information in new and compelling ways?
In this session, we will give many examples of applications for AR. We will introduce the Augmented Reality ecosystem, with a special emphasis on the mobile variations. We will examine what is available today for users and for publishers, identifying the gaps into which an industry will need to expand and, finally, we will put forth to Tools of Change attendees the reasons they should care and what they should begin to do about AR.
The bottom line is that, as a result of some key new hardware and software elements available to consumers today, there is a new paradigm emerging for interacting with digital information.
Begin with basic overview:
People are able to explore digital information which is offered to them in the context of their real world environment. First, there are sensors (cameras, GPS, accelerometers, compasses) which detect people, places and things in the user’s environment. Then, information is presented in response to these sensors. The user turns, or focuses in on a particular object and yet more content is available. The digital information appears and is available as an overlay on the live video, almost as “part” of the real world. The overlay and integration with physical world through the video camera attached to a desktop or the camera phone produces a far richer experience than when the same data was “just text” and graphics in a Web browser.
What does it take to deliver AR to a user? The simplest answer is “it depends.” I will provide some specifications for a basic AR experience and then give concrete examples, such as applications on the Android and iPhone handsets. I will show in a diagram how content is retrieved for AR use.
In the second part of this talk, I will introduce the ecosystem of Mobile AR. The ecosystem has four categories of companies:
I will show some concrete examples of what is available in AR today (in February 2010):
In the third and final section of this presentation, I will try to capture all that remains to be developed and how bridging between content publishers and this AR ecosystem will produce new opportunities and revenues streams.
In my opinion, biggest risk to the expansion of this industry is the lack of good (high) quality content which is “AR ready” when users tire of the existing libraries and sponsored content. This is the golden opportunity for publishers to make their digital content interactive in this new user interface. They cannot and should not go alone. I will propose new partnerships which content publishers should be preparing themselves to build, beyond geo-location based. For example:
I will also explore critical missing components such as:
I will also discuss, though none are proven, business models for AR content in the future:
Christine Perey has over 18 years experience working in emerging multimedia communications markets. In the early days, she was the publisher and editor of The QuickTime Forum (1991-1993) and the founder of The QuickTime Movie Festival. More recently, she has chaired workshops and spoken at industry events on the Future of Social Networks and Mobile Augmented Reality. Christine serves as an expert to the W3C Social Web Working Group. She is also the chair of the ISMAR Mobile Committee. She is co-founder of Mobile Monday Switzerland.
Over the past three years, Christine has studied and prepared analyses of the state of Mobile Augmented Reality for clients. She has also authored the Mobile Social Networking reports published by Informa Telecoms & Media. Her first comprehensive report on Mobile Augmented Reality is in preparation, due for release before the end of 2009.
Perey performs research and provides guidance to executives, entrepreneurs and investors globally. For more information, visit PEREY Research & Consulting (http://www.perey.com).
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