Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wizards and electrons, wands and bytes...it's Augmented Reality

My early excitement for smartphones was founded in a desire to cut down on stuff I was carrying.  I loved the idea of a single, pocket-sized device that could serve as my phone, contact list, calendar, and music player.  Oh, and it was important that it sync easily with my computer for the sake of simplicity.  I'd been waiting for something practical to come along and finally took the plunge with a Treo 300, a clamshell device running PalmOS that, at least in theory, did it all.  How limited was my imagination at that time!  My new Android phone, of course, makes the Treo 300 seem like Eniac, by comparison.
Advances in Augmented Reality (AR) are already providing services beyond my wildest imagination of ten years ago and application developers are creating inspired applications, some practical, some whimsical, that will make today's smartphone seem like the old Treo by comparison.  If AR is a new term to you, you've seen it in action in NFL broadcasts when the first-down lines are super-imposed on the field. Another great example is Worldwide Telescope.  Here's a TED video in which Microsoft's Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos augmented-reality maps:

Blogger Bill Bulkeley wrote this story on AR for Cisco news.

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