AR & Ubicomp: Making Visible the Invisible

From Tish Shute’s excellent UgoTrade article on Total Immersion and the “Transfigured City:” Shared Augmented Realities, the “Web Squared Era,” and Google Wave:

The recent emergence of “magic lens” augmented reality apps for our smart phones – Wikitude, Layar, Acrossair, Sekai Camera, and many others now – have given us a new window into our cities. But we are yet to realize the full potential of the AR/ubicomp base pair that can “make visible the invisible” and give us new opportunities to relate to the invisible data ecosystems of our cities, not merely as a spectator experience, but as an interactive, in context, real time opportunity to reimagine social relations.

In parallel, I had a brief Twitter exchange with Ian Hughes about the inevitable merging of virtual worlds and augmented reality layers. While in-box, narrative-driven worlds like WoW will continue to gain more traction, I expect to see a new form of VW that draws itself over the Real World. While it’s still strange to see augmented cyborgs walking around talking to themselves (ie people with bluetooth headsets) imagine the silliness that will unfold when legions of teens are running about the streets interacting with some invisible layer of reality unseen by the uninitiated…

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