The Hype of AR

Today CNN.com gave a report on augmented reality, including an interview with Blair MacIntyre.  Even though I’ve only been involved with AR for about two years, I felt like a proud parent seeing the article on CNN about my favorite, and I believe world-changing, technology.  Then I felt the other thing parents feel about their children when they realize they’re going to be going out into the world, dread. 

I feel dread because I can sense the overhype of the technology coming.  It’s still in its infancy, still making its way around the room, barely standing on two legs, and seventeen-year-old punks in their Mustangs with a cigarette hanging out of their mouths are going to come knocking at the door expecting to take our new baby out. 

The content of the article is actually quite balanced, Blair does a good job of easing the expectations, but I still see signs of hype from other locations.

ARTrendsAug09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the above graph, interest in AR is taking off.  From January 2009 to July 2009, the searches on Augmented Reality have increased 400%.  This is a sizable change in the visibility of the technology and one that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. 

What do we do about overhyping?  Not much we can do, but be calm, take deep breaths and try not to overstate the technology when speaking to reporters who live on hype like overindulged six-year-olds.  Because there are going to be misuses of the technology that are easy to make fun of (I know I’ve highlighted a few shortcomings in my Augment This! webcomic), and it will have its growing pains.  But that’s okay, people thought cell phones were a fad at one time, too. 

Until AR has exceeded our expectations and we’re interacting with the AR world in a seamless way, we need to have a good sense of humor when someone picks on the technology in a spot-on, and hilarious way, because it’s going to happen alot. 

Queue the video!

 

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