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(cross-posted from space150’s blog)

Dating back to 2010 and our Forever 21 AR Billboard in Times Square, we’ve been excited about the prospect of augmented reality (AR) for space150 clients. At that time, we had to hack together military facial recognition software to bridge the physical-to-digital divide. But today, PokemonGo has helped bring AR utility to the masses — unlocking the digital layer on the physical world through a lens like your phone.

THE VISORS ARE COMING

The first generation of augmented reality (AR) visors is coming to a face near you. Although not quite ready for mainstream applications, we’re starting to see some entertaining experiences drop for AR consumers.

For example, this is a short video we made this week using HoloFriends new app, The Floor is Lava and our Microsoft Hololens.

It’s a reimaginging of a game we all played as kids:

Last week, our spaceLab team spent time with the Meta 2 team and some hands-on workshop time with Lorraine Bardeen, who leads strategy and partnerships for Microsoft HoloLens at the Future of Storytelling Summit.

Our discussions with these technology leaders focused less on the limitations of the technology today (limited field of view, cost, battery life vs. tethers) and more on the possibilities of storytelling using mixed reality tools like AR visors.

Imagine mapping your living room by simply looking around, then watching as your walls are painted, furniture is reupholstered, spiders crawl out of your windows, and a hologram police chief sits on your own couch and briefs you on a murder case you need to solve. This already exists.

AR visors and holograms offer yet another tool for immersive storytelling in our toolbox for brands. What will you make?

Interested in discussing how AR could work for your brand? Hit me up -> spacelab (at) space150 (dot) com.

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I did three interviews about Pokemon Go this summer, and in each interview I talked at-length about the “Black Swan” moment that was occurring with augmented reality’s (AR) rapid adoption and awareness.

None of those quotes made it into the coverage, which honestly kind of bummed me out.

However, we’re already seeing Pokemon Go’s impact on the acceptance and excitement about a digital layer atop the real world (aka mixed reality) become rationalized in hindsight — as if this was an expected adoption by the mainstream.

So it’s no surprise that Tim Cook — maker of the super computer in each of our pockets that can pull that digital layer atop the world wherever we go — is bullish for AR and what’s next.

PREDICTION: We’re going to see publishers and brands start building AR layers into their mobile apps yet in 2016. Then in 2017 this trend is going to be so overblown and undervalued (although hitting even more of the mainstream than Pokemon) that there will be a constriction of use with occasionaly sparks of genius utility and creativity. By Q3 2017 — a year from today — a handful of perfectly placed solutions will finally demonstrate the full breadth (and limits) of AR in marketing, utility and culture.

…..

Augmented reality — games and applications that impose digital imagery over real-life video — has exploded onto the consumer tech scene in recent months, most notably with this summer’s hit mobile video game Pokémon Go, which overlays the game’s characters onto images taken in real time from the camera on the player’s phone.

It stands in contrast to virtual reality, which often employs a special headset and only digital imagery, which does not depend on the environment around the user. Virtual reality has been championed by news companies like ABC News and The New York Times, who have used it to tell immersive stories in ways not available in traditional media.

While Pokémon Go and other AR apps are currently available for Apple’s iPhone, Apple itself has not yet produced any of its own AR or VR products.

Source: Exclusive: Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Prefers Augmented Reality Over Virtual Reality – ABC News