I found this video clip which does well to sum up my current opinion on marker-based Augmented Reality, which seems to be breaking into the mainstream via desktop applications and fixed webcams:
Me too (doing some AR stuff)! from Anatoly Zenkov on Vimeo.
You’ve seen it around the office – someone prints out a marker and everyone huddles around the only computer with a webcam. Anatoly Zenkov has noticed it too, and he wants you to realise that all you’re really looking at is a static 3D image overlaid on a piece of paper. Nothing culture-shifting about that now is there?
Let me be among the first of the dissenters:
There is far more to AR than barcodes and webcams.
There are thousands of helpful & exciting uses for the technology. Think past ‘tethered’ AR experiences and consider what good Mobile AR can do with GPS and with markerless tracking. Endless potential lies that way. I assure you, the future is far brighter than we think.
Where I initially believed that the Advertising and Entertainment industries would drive innovation and push AR into popular consiousness (they are currently doing so), I now believe that good AR (as distinct from any old AR) will be driven by paid applications on next-gen handsets.
I think I’ll serialise posts about the best applications for Augmented Reality over the coming weeks. Why not subscribe now to hear about it first? You know it makes sense.