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Augmented Reality: The Next Big Thing or Information Overload | CES 2014

Augmented Reality: The Next Big Thing or Information Overload | CES 2014

Jan 15, 2014

Augmented reality (AR) is perhaps the most intriguing and potentially disruptive technology to come along in a lifetime. Which applications will the public embrace? Where are the boundaries of information overlays and on-the-fly interactivity? Experts predict where AR is heading, examine the impact of Google Glass and identify emerging business opportunities. Panel talk at the International CES 2014 conference with Thomas Alt, CEO at Metaio; Brian Mullins Founder/CEO of DAQRI; Neil Trevett VP, Mobile Marketing,NVIDIA and Moderator Seth Fletcher Sr. Editor,Technology Coverage at Scientific American.


What does augmented reality mean to us today? Trevett: In the broadest sense providing contextually relevant information in a useable way. Getting the contextual awareness by having sensors, having them on mobile devices, the cloud and especially the camera. His personal definition of AR is overlaying useful information over a real time scene with a wearable display. Mullins: Sensor fusion to expand the story and experience. Alt gives the academic definition from 1997 by Ronald Azuma who said AR is the superimposition of the 3D content in real time in the users field of view and continues by saying it’s an addition to an existing application.  Click to read more…

Describe the User Experience of Google Glass? Alt: When AR emerged it used to be called head mounted display, Google Glass is not a fully superimposed content in your field of view but is a near eye display worn screen, it’s a display which incorporates from a hardware perspective having camera and processing power integrated to scan for content continuously and use it. For Google Glass to be for everyone would be to help offload the energy consumption for the computer vision side to a coprocessor that allows the camera and computer vision for more than 15 minutes. Trevett agrees there’s a lot of processing power, we have a lot further to go, power & acceleration is chasing the actual end user requirements and we have a lot of work to do ahead of us.

How to get to the full iron man experience? Mullins: The user awareness feature, advantage in camera and network technologies to moves us towards a new form factor of device.

What other devices AR is looking into? Head mounted displays still have a lot to learn about the user experience.

What about content? Alt: Its not so much the challenge of getting content into augmented reality but having relevant content to the task you perform.

Limiting information overflow? Trevett: Need to know the user and their environment. Mullins: It’s about who’s making the content. Alt: Agrees creating user interface digital content.

How has Google rollout affected the perception of this techology? Mullens: Its common for people to react to new technology when it first comes out, when cell phones got cameras people were chased out of stores, for example. Natural reaction to something new however there are still privacy issues.

Regarding privacy, what are some creepy things you have seen? Mullens: Connecting now to social media and social profile, there is a demo video out there of facial recognition being used to pick up people in bars to find out about their background and manipulate them. Trevett: Agrees facial recognition and having more protections with social media. Alt: Protection will be needed for social media profiles. Face tracking and facial recognition are two different things. No social media information from Face tracking. Mullens: storage is free now when facial recognition is ubiquitous we can reverse the process all the facial recognition from today. In Vegas the cameras have facial recognition.

What are some devices you have seen at CES that you think is interesting?  Alt: Epson Binocula camera, Vuzix Corp. Mullins: Epson Binocula & Vuzix and excited to see unreleased products on the floor and in the near future. Trevett: Also Vuzix they have  been in industry for 20 years, some other components that Intel is promoting and partnerships made with SoftKinetic, Apple has bought PrimeSense, also the big 3D printing area on the floor at CES, augmented reality and 3D sensing camera technology allows the opportunity for 3D printing to go social and is also part of the augmented reality revolution.


i like this small ces logo

One comment

  1. I would like to thank the panel for continuing the discussion of AR past CES. I really think that the points about contextual relevance and acceptance by the general population need to be major areas of focus for 2014. There is unbelievable vertical potential for AR as a whole but at times the fear of information overload, limited wifi speed or restrictive costs, fractured delivery platforms, and even worse, poorly developed projects prevent businesses from wanting to be early adopters of this technology. What areas or industries do you feel should be targets for 2014? Commercial Real Estate, industrial training, print media, product packaging, textbooks? I would love to hear your opinions.

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