One of the key components to true AR is turning world objects into digital ones. The slow way to accomplish this is to get an army of volunteers to manually create the digital architecture piece-by-piece. Much like the first genome, it’s going to take awhile.
However, if the process can be automated, then interesting events start happening fast. My friend Rob pointed me to this video on TED.com (one of my favorite sites for cool technology).
The video shows how the process of digitally creating space can be done automatically using pictures taken by everyday users. If we all uploaded our pictures and tagged them to locations, the world could be digitized in rapid fashion.
This advance brings about the idea of the Metaverse from Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, but also allows for the AR (The Digital Sea) version of the world.
If you want to see another application of the technology–go to this CNN site to see the Photosynth Inauguration of Barack Obama.