Augmented Reality is still the hot new technology which is getting a lot of people excited when it comes to smartphone applications, and there are lots of cool ways it is increasingly being used.
But the best applications are those which actually have a purpose – and for that to happen more often, Augmented Reality has to jump the shark, and soon. (Jumping the Shark defined).
Like most people, I was amazed when I first saw videos of augmented reality apps (and called Wikitude the best app for the G1). And I’ve been similarly impressed with a lot of cool examples ever since then.
But the best applications I’ve seen which I’d actually keep using? How about the US post service augmented reality app for sizing up the boxes I need for posting large items? That’s not to say they can’t also be beautiful, or location based etc – for instance, Museum of London’s AR App.
But these are few and far between – the majority of discussion about augmented reality at the moment seems to be focusing on the technology as the key point, rather than how it can be used.
How to make augmented reality work:
It’s about 18 months since Wikitude first came on the scene – still a relatively short time for new technology, but it’s about time we start taking a mature look at Augmented Reality projects and applications. And we need to raise the bar on what is deserving of our attention. Platforms like Layar allow any developer to create their own augmented reality layer, so just using AR isn’t impressive – doing something really useful or cool is!