Augmented reality: the disappointment is real


Arguably, the latest and most extreme example of the dilution of these technologies has to do with augmented reality (AR). In its “purest” form, AR was going to (and eventually will) deliver an intelligent overlay on the physical world. The technology enables you to see computer-generated digital imagery superimposed on a real-world view. Best of all, it does so in a futuristic manner that greatly enhances, or augments, our view of the world.

Microsoft’s impressive HoloLens smart glasses and the AR experience it provides, for example, offers one of the most convincing way of feeling like you’ve been transported 10 years into the future.

The problem is that the acceptable bar for what can, or should, be considered augmented reality is dropping quickly. Lately, it seems almost anything that puts silly images over pictures or video is now being (unrightfully) elevated to the status of augmented reality. Because of that, I’m concerned that the real value or impact of the technology is going to fade, leading to a level of disappointment that could set the market back for some time.