Augmented Reality: Future Tech or Old Tech News?

By: Sonia Ingriselli - geekinsider

Google Glass has really made the tech news across the webosphere light up like wild fire. Augmented reality is the next big thing; and future tech is looking rather interesting.

Google has been getting into headlines of technology news over the past year for their innovative Google Glass technology. I've heard some people refer to Glass as a virtual reality device, but in reality it falls into what we call, augmented reality. The important difference between VR and AR is that while virtual reality put you into an entirely simulated world, AR merely creates a way for you to experience the real world with computer generates alterations to its elements.

Is Google Glass really the future tech they've been touting it as though? Most people seem unaware that we've been using AR for years now, and it didn't seem like breaking tech news until Google started playing with it. We're already in an age where maps can work with your phone display and camera to give you a line to follow while walking. Heck, even the Wii, Kinect, and Playstation Move, count as AR and nobody seems overly impressed by them either. It doesn't seem much like future technology now, does it?

CrowdOptic hasn't made much technology news, but created a unique ability with AR. With CrowdOptic on your phone it collects metadata from all of the phones in your area. From that it figures out what area are the most active, and where people are pointing their smartphone camera. If that doesn't seem like future tech, then I'll give you an example. You're at a sporting event and decide to take out your phone for a few pictures. Crowd Optic can tell you if anyone you're facebook friends with is at the same event with you, where most people are pointing their cameras, and connect you to the live commentary of the event. They have even created a new event called the Virtual Gallery that should be in tech news. In the Virtual Gallery it knows where you're pointing your camera, when pointed to the right area a work of art will be displayed. It's like being in an art gallery, without having to really do anything.

As you can see, augmented reality probably shouldn't actually be breaking tech news headlines. It's been around, I know, you know, and it was even in a phone commercial. You know the one where the guy points his phone at a local restaurant and reviews his friends have left pop up. Yep, that's more augmented reality stuff. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of cool things to be done with AR in future technology. These just aren't ever going to be as exceptional as I feel people expect AR to be. Cool? Sure. AR Tower Defense lets you create your own map then overlays the game into it. That's cool, not worth a tech news headline, but cool.

Google Glass has basically just shoved a couple of normal smartphone functions in a pair of glasses. I don't know if I'd even want a bunch of stuff displayed in my glasses while I'm trying to live my life. It sounds sort of annoying to be honest. But, maybe I'm wrong, maybe AR's future tech will be dominated future technology news and I'll look like a fool, but I doubt it.

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