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Augmented Reality's Disruptive Potential

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the staking-claims-on-meatspace-overlays dept.

Cellphones 126

pbahra writes "A company called Layar, based in Amsterdam, is working on products that take augmented reality in a slightly different direction. They provide a platform that allows anyone to build an AR app. Consider these ideas: you can use your mobile phone's camera to view the world; your phone knows where you are and what you are looking at. The implications are profound. One of the most interesting apps that someone produced was a virtual tee-shirt shop. It was placed in the 20 most expensive shopping streets in the world, selling t-shirts. Stop and think about that for a minute. He built a virtual shop where a real one already existed. His shop was accessible via a mobile phone, while the real one was accessible through, well, being real. Real space and its virtual overlay are being used by different people. There will be lawyers."

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A thought (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462548)

If virtual reality becomes real, will we be able to ban all the people who use it to simulate rape and fucking kids and shit like that? I hope so.

Re:A thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462854)

just. testing..something...with... . . . ....this new .... "feature" ... ... . . ....

Re:A thought (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463026)

I disagree. This will make an excellent way to find them and dispose of them.

And to all you bleeding hearts out there: you don't honestly think that that sick, disgusting shit is okay do you?

Posting AC so the Liberal Thought Police - Internet Squad doesn't wreck my karma.

Re:A thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463086)

Sounds like you're the one who wants to be the Thought Police.

Re:A thought (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463614)

And to all you bleeding hearts out there: you don't honestly think that that sick, disgusting shit is okay do you?

Ah, what a great argument, that if we disagree that people should be jailed and killed for outputting their desires in a way that doesn't harm anyone, we're championing the acts themselves, or somehow partaking or approving of them, which makes us as bad as the perpetrators in your eyes. Newsflash: People will like what you don't like, you'll never stop them. As long as it doesn't hurt others, what's the harm? You may not be into fisting little girls, but if someone was, and instead of fisting little girls, they played videogames to relieve their needs, why do you feel the need to stomp on other's freedoms? These are the same type of disingenuous turn-around that bought-out Politicians did with the internet monitoring bill. "If you're against this bill, you like CHILD RAPISTS, OOOOH~"

Re:A thought (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463660)

"Liberal Thought Police" - that's funny considering the biggest kiddie diddlers turn out to be religious, conservative or both.

Re:A thought (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463054)

As soon as we can ban all religious folk.

Same space, different market? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462578)

Ok, let's think about this for a second. The guy chose the 20 most expensive shopping areas in the world to overlay his virtual t-shirt shop. Something tells me his shop is going to be selling a much different type of product, aimed at a much different clientele. If you are walking down Savile Row doing some shopping, you are probably not going to be looking for t-shirts, and you probably already have an idea of which shop you are going to go to, and where it is. This won't be a problem until it prevents you from seeing the actual, physical store. Even if the technology advances to the point where you can have augmented reality projected onto glasses or contact lenses, you can still see the real shop by taking off the glasses/removing contacts/switching off the display. To me, this story is a non-issue.

Re:Same space, different market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462746)

So one person pays for the physical space in a high-profile location, the other guy just pretends to be there and gets the location for free.

Is this fair?

Re:Same space, different market? (4, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462888)

when you put it that way, it sounds just like pop-up spam.

i'm sure that as soon as someone invents an ad-blocker extension for AR, we'll be fine.

Re:Same space, different market? (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464630)

They should extend it so it blocks real-life ads as well. Would be a godsend in ad-ridden Japan.

Re:Same space, different market? (1)

Tomato42 (2416694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37465410)

Stop talking about AR as if it was ubiquitous as the WWW. There is a handful of AR apps that don't interact with each-other, just don't use the ad-ridden ones.

Re:Same space, different market? (2)

macshit (157376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463370)

So one person pays for the physical space in a high-profile location, the other guy just pretends to be there and gets the location for free.

Is this fair?

But he doesn't really "get the location," he "gets" a shoddy half-assed and barely usable cellphone gimmick. It's not going to impact the real shop one iota (so no loss on their part), and the t-shirt guy isn't actually going to get any significant number of customers by doing this — nobody's going to travel to physical location just to get a shoddy cellphone app experience, so any kind of physical location linkage is quickly going to be discarded.

Re:Same space, different market? (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37466202)

... nobody's going to travel to physical location just to get a shoddy cellphone app experience ...

Ohhhhh... they will! they will and in doing so will also become clients of the Physical shop. Regardless if they like the virtual one or not they will become clients. It's a well known conversion mechanism. You get them to ${location} they convert into whoever naturally roams ${location}.

Re:Same space, different market? (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464750)

If I hold up my smart phone in front of my face while I'm facing someone's shop, with Amazon loaded on the browser, is that fair?

This is a stupid story about a silly publicity stunt.

Re:Same space, different market? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462812)

But what about regular virtual stores in shopping malls? You have Hardware Store Inc, but a virtual Hardware.Com exists inside the mall as well.

Though, I fail to see anyone actually going to a mall, whipping out their phone, and look for stores. That seems much more tedious than say, going to the paper map.

Re:Same space, different market? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462900)

I doubt they'd do that. But one might scan the barcode and see if one can get the item cheaper elsewhere. In practice, unless it's substantially cheaper it's probably best to just buy it from the store you're in, rather than driving elsewhere or ordering it online.

Also. WTF is up with the page and all those strange points.

Not thinking it through, are we? (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463052)

Who cares about store fronts?

Instead, project your WoW avatar onto yourself. Increase your dating potential.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmVSQ2DrBUo [youtube.com]

Terrible summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462646)

One of the worst summaries I've ever read. The Slashdot editors should require some level of quality and coherency in the submissions.

Re:Terrible summary (1)

lee1 (219161) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462818)

The original article is pretty incoherent, too. And the 'summary' is a clumsy and shameless attempt to plagiarise it.

Retailers are shaking in their boots (3, Funny)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462656)

... Because I know when I walk down the Champs-Elysees in Paris, what I really want to be doing is looking at the world through the screen of my smartphone! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

Even better: sell t-shirts that appear blank but display hipster slogans when viewed through an AR app.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462676)

OMFG that's genius. Make it. I will pay you money for it. Other people will do.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462914)

... Because I know when I walk down the Champs-Elysees in Paris, what I really want to be doing is looking at the world through the screen of my smartphone! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

I assume you're being sarcastic, but as an American who has spent a significant time living in touristy European cities (while doing research), I've had the opportunity to observe lots of people wandering around bumping into things because they're too busy looking through their videocamera or taking photos to notice anything actually going on... Even in the most beautiful or culturally significant places in the world.

The kind of person likely to buy a tee shirt in such a location is probably exactly the kind of person who will be wondering around viewing everything through a smart phone (perhaps running an AR app to translate street signs or who knows what else...)

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

Bangz (1294126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463300)

Yes, and it's surely not long* before augmented reality is a little more transparent than staring at your phone. * Not long as in, erm, a decade or two :) depends how transparent you want this stuff.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463482)

You can buy [lumus-optical.com] "HUD glasses" today, and Japanese are experimenting with an ultra-small projector that you can stick on any random pair of eyeglasses.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (3, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463204)

There is an excellent SciFi book called The Prefect, by Alastair Reynolds where something like this plays a key role, but in an even grander scale. People chose what they want to look like in augmented reality, and most everyone have implants that pick this up and automatically route the image into their brain without having to look elsewhere like a smart phone screen (at least that is how I read it). People could walk around looking like they had horns, or were fauns or satyrs, etc. The lead character(s) who were a form of police had to wear special glasses since they could not afford to have artificial implants in their brain that could be hacked. But the augmented reality also hooked everyone in the society together (in ten thousand habitats orbiting a planet around a distant star from earth). It was an interesting take on how technology might impact reality in the future. Anyways, FWIW Reynolds writes some interesting stuff.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463332)

The Golden Age trilogy by John C. Wright is another very detailed exploration of the implications of this kind of technology taken to its logical conclusion. In that novel, everything you sense is augmented in one way or another. Real-life ads are blocked and made to appear like natural parts of the scenery. Your house can be any kind of dwelling you desire, the people around you can look like anything at all. AR has many interesting possibilities but I don't think it will truly be much more than novelty until it breaks out of the 4 inch screen and at the very least is overlayed on some glasses or possibly projected directly on the retina.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463404)

the people around you can look like anything at all

LOL, we already do that with ugly women via beer goggles.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37465138)

As a furry, I approve of this idea.

I imagine there would be a 'naked patch' in circulation that just deletes all clothing from view too.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37466186)

You are making yourself look really stupid, identifying with your sexual fetish. A bit disturbing, too.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467396)

Rainbow's end [wikipedia.org] was a recent Hugo best novel that used augmented reality as a very big plot point. Basically content lenses with micro body movements for input was the new norm. I particularly liked that one of the most popular reality overlays was a discworld based mythology. Good book, worthy of the Hugo. I could see contacts being able to do this, leave the brain surgery out of this!.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

ooloogi (313154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463516)

What if you can point your smatphone at the t-shirt you like, and it identifies an online merchant selling it direct out of China for 1/10th the price, shipped to your home? No worries haggling with French salespeople, no having to carry it around for the rest of the day, and no bloated luggage. Maybe with a licensing deal, the brick and mortar store could even get a cut out of it, and not have to worry so much about inventory.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37466030)

... and then wonder when you get home why you just got laid off and why they are shipping your job to China.

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37466298)

Even better: sell t-shirts that appear blank but display hipster slogans when viewed through an AR app.

You are brilliant. Might I suggest "Bitches don't know about my AR T."

Re:Retailers are shaking in their boots (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467376)

what I really want to be doing is looking at the world through the screen of my smartphone!

You obviously haven't been out of your mother's basement in some time because if you were to go to any major city, let's say New York for shits and giggles, all you see are people with their heads down, looking at the screens of their smartphones.

I recently took some foreign relatives of my aunt on a tour of New York and one of them commented on all the people who were glued to their smartphones.

So yes, there will be people who will walk down the Champs-Elysees looking at their smartphone.

Fascinating (1)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462678)

This will be huge. People all over the world are going to walk around and perpetually stare into their phones to view a projection of reality instead of reality itself. Plato would be proud.

Re:Fascinating (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462710)

Have you seen the real world lately? People ARE walking around perpetually staring into their phones.

Re:Fascinating (1)

tunabomber (259585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463078)

Yeah, but they're looking at text messages, facebook, email etc. An AR app will have to fight those things for a person's attention.

Re:Fascinating (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464136)

There's an app for that. [type-n-walk.com]
Type n Walk is a new iPhone app that lets you see what's in front of you while typing and walking.

Re:Fascinating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463194)

Hmmmm, so this could make a volcano or the Grand Canyon look like a field of flowers? That should be great for people that find cars with GPS too cumbersome for doing Darwin's work.

Why AR is used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462696)

If only location or QR code can get the job done? Or a product search can also do the jobs.

Open is just another tactic for bureaucratism

LEGAL NOTICE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462722)

I hearby claim all revenues from any and all commercial enterprises occupying any overlaying location, coordinates or appearance of my properties including but not limited to all shops on Parallel Earth, Alternate Earth, Mirror World, and Bizzaro Earth. All payment must be converted to USD. Bizzaro dollars will not be accepted as payment for debts.

On the flip side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462736)

Lawyers find their clients no longer require rosters outside court houses or on each court room door, as the system now recognizes NRA-inside.

God damn spam bullshit (0)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462744)

This is not the drunken 1990s. You slashdot hacks, I presume, have been around. Can't you exercise bit of your brain cells?

Stop with the hype spam bullshit.

read the book (3, Informative)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462764)

see Halting State by Charles Stross and Spook Country by William Gibson for examples of how this overlay technology might work/look/feel like

both books are pretty good reads and the VR overlay is central to the Stross book and a fairly big plot point in the Gibson book. Also recommend Stross's 'The Laundry Files' series -where IT and Necromancy collide....

-I'm just sayin

Re:read the book (2)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462982)

An even better example, more pertinent to TFA, would be Rainbows End [wikipedia.org] by Vernor Vinge.

Some selective quotes from the linked Wiki page:

In the novel, augmented reality is dominant, with humans interacting with virtual overlays of reality almost all of the time. This is accomplished by wearing smart clothing and contact lenses that can overlay and replace what the eye would normally see with computer graphics, using advanced virtual retinal display (VRD) technology.

There are many realities to choose from in the novel; however, the largest and more robust of them are built by large user bases in the manner of a wiki or Second Life, including worlds based on authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett, and the merged fictional universes of Steven Spielberg and J. K. Rowling.

In other words, people walk around in a fantasy world of their own choosing, and tend to associate only with those people subscribing to the same fantasy. Disruptive, indeed, but an effect that doesn't necessarily require technology to achieve...as recent non-fictional events have demonstrated.

Re:read the book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467816)

I will need to look into Vernor Vinge's work. Does he explore the parallelism between living in a virtual reality and deeply held religious beliefs? Do his words shed any light on the suicide bombers?

Re:read the book (1)

trk6640 (2439130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463106)

Check out Daemon by Daniel Suarez for a fantastic fictional story using current feasible technology, the focus being on an augmented reality network. http://thedaemon.com/ [thedaemon.com]

Re:read the book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463148)

Be prepared though, Stross has wonderful ideas. Beautiful ideas well worth exploring. However... he is simply not a very good writer. All of his characters always go through the same arcs and extremely similar thought processes. As Neal Stephenson said, Sci Fi is idea porn. Stross is idea porn with the production quality to match.

Re:read the book (1)

jpwilliams (2430348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463258)

Also see Counting Heads by Marusek. Not the main point of the story, but everyone has a visor with different filters that allow them to view different info. Even more interesting is that certain inside environments need no visor ... images simply appear in the space, allowing for people to be there "holographically" in the room. The line's between actually being somewhere and being there virtually become blurred, with the latter becoming way more popular.

Re:read the book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37464110)

I think 'The Golden Age' by John C.Wright

It's actually influenced a lot of my thoughts in what features you'd want in VR - e.g. in the case above alternate world views, layering of realities and even spam filtering.

PORN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462766)

porn. everywhere. and dicks too.

Tried it (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462776)

The implications are profound.

No, not really. Unless, maybe, you're Geordi LaForge.

Stop and think about that for a minute. He built a virtual shop where a real one already existed.

Big deal. I've already been able to walk into Sears and shop at JCPenney.com on my phone, if I chose, for the past several years. What this guy has done is basically artificially limit his online store's reach.

Agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463474)

This is only profound to people who haven't grasped modern technology yet.

Re:Tried it (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464042)

Big deal. I've already been able to walk into Sears and shop at JCPenney.com on my phone, if I chose, for the past several years..

Now imagine if you could only visit JCPenny.com ONLY if you WALK into Sears... Ok, I'm AT the expensive Tshirt, where I can buy a tshirt and walk out of the door with it. WHY would I want to then go to a "virtual" tshirt job, buy a shirt, and then wait for days for it to show up?

Yes Augmented Reality is profound. There are some pretty cool things you can do with it. Building a "virtual shop where a real one already exists." Is probably the least cool.

Sure there will be lawyers. When people come out with the 'nudity' app that paints an image of a naked girl whenever you a particular person... But I'm pretty sure it isn't anything that slander and libel lawyers don't already deal with today.

Re:Tried it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37468020)

Not only will there be lawyers, but there will also be virtual lawyers. However do not worry too much about that. They will be virtually indistinguishable the one from the other.

To clarify, I do not mean to imply that lawyers are from a reality of lesser dimensions than that which scientists, engineers, and technologists inhabit. IANAL so I do not know. What I do know is that lawyers work in a virtual world of laws, regulations, and precedents that has been diverging from the real world for several hundred years.

The optimist says the glass is half full, the pessimist says it is half empty. The engineer says the glass is twice as big as it needs to be and the technologist concerns himself with replacing the glass with one of a more appropriate size. The lawyer? He mutters quietly "There must be a way to monetize all this disagreement..."

Re:Tried it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37466070)

The implications are profound.

No, not really. Unless, maybe, you're Geordi LaForge.

Yes! AR makes a cool gimmick and you could build cool games around it but on the other hand, it's fairly useless if you don't have a display device you can wear all the time. Some glasses, some contacts, something fancy and futuristic even by today's standards. Sure, video glasses exist, but all of them are ugly and none of the high-res ones are even vaguely affordable. Virtually none of them have mounted cameras so you need to add a rangefinder to calculate parallax.

Where is my cheap eyetap? You could build one for a thousand dollars years ago, supposedly.

Re:Tried it (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37466548)

The implications are profound.

No, not really. Unless, maybe, you're Geordi LaForge.

Yes! AR makes a cool gimmick and you could build cool games around it but on the other hand, it's fairly useless if you don't have a display device you can wear all the time. Some glasses, some contacts, something fancy and futuristic even by today's standards. Sure, video glasses exist, but all of them are ugly and none of the high-res ones are even vaguely affordable. Virtually none of them have mounted cameras so you need to add a rangefinder to calculate parallax.

Where is my cheap eyetap? You could build one for a thousand dollars years ago, supposedly.

Here: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/female-artist-wants-bionic-eye-goes-kickstarter-14-07-2011/ [geeky-gadgets.com]

Re:Tried it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37466662)

Where is my cheap eyetap? You could build one for a thousand dollars years ago, supposedly.

Here: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/female-artist-wants-bionic-eye-goes-kickstarter-14-07-2011/ [geeky-gadgets.com]

Why don't you make sure you understand a word before you try to respond to a sentence that contains it?

2009 called (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462810)

They want their app back.

Oh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462824)

The whole point of the virtual world is to be free from physical location. Physical retailers should be afraid of, oh I dunno, Blizzard opening a mall inside of WoW where physical goods can be purchased. Or a second life that doesn't suck.

Based in Amsterdam? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462828)

And all they could think of was an AR display of tee-shirt shops?

Oh come on now....

Re:Based in Amsterdam? (1)

rve (4436) | more than 2 years ago | (#37465504)

The real Amsterdam doesn't live up to the reputation you're referring to. It's a small, sleepy town, about the size of Columbus, OH, and still not quite ready to move into the 21st century.

Almost nothing is open before 8.30 am, and most stores close after 6 pm and in the weekends. It's only been about a year since stores have been legally allowed to open on Sundays. The local culture is somewhat cold and unrefined by our standards. Having fun is generally seen as a queer and unnecessary thing foreigners like to do.

The notorious red lights district is not any wilder than what you would find in any major city (though perhaps a bit less tasteful) and rather filthy. A great place to meet pickpockets and panhandlers, nothing more.

Bad Example (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462840)

The problem with this story is the fact that the example given is so bad that it misrepresents the potential disruption.

Better example: Disruptive app that allows me to be standing in a store and view items on the shelf through my phone with competing prices from nearby stores or online displayed in the air next to them.

Yes, you can do that currently by typing and searching yourself, but this would allow it to be MUCH easier. Now that we have a better possibility, discuss.....

Re:Bad Example (1)

I)_MaLaClYpSe_(I (447961) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463076)

Please Mod Parent up!

Re:Bad Example (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463732)

You can do this already with Android phones, using the bar code scanner. Maybe not getting as much press, it's a more down-to-earth method, yet it works already.

I've tried this myself once with some DVDs that I got second hand. Scanned the bar code with product number, and within seconds had a list of some online shops selling that product, with prices. You can do the same when you're in a shop of course (all you need is a mobile data connection).

Layar is interesting but has many more uses of course. For example there is a Wikipedia layer, which will give e.g. overlays of major buildings and provide instant information of what you're looking at. Works basically with any entry in WP that has coordinates with it. A major issue holding back Layar is that it uses a lot of data (still expensive - and some people, like me, don't even have a data plan), and as it uses network, GPS, compass, camera and screen all big time, plus putting a serious load on the phone's processor, it drains your battery really fast.

Re:Bad Example (1)

darrylo (97569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463868)

It's already been done. As others have said, apps exist for iOS and android that'll scan a barcode and display nearby and online prices. There's also at least one app that'll do this based upon a phone camera shot (and not just a barcode), but it's a bit hit-and-miss.

Re:Bad Example (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464762)

There are already apps that let you scan barcodes and look up prices. It's not disruptive. Nobody cares. Except maybe the store owner, but if he cares it's because he's trying to get away with charging you more.

Re:Bad Example (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464888)

Or a non-commercial example:

Going to a controversial historical site (Jerusalem or maybe some sites in India) and having you phone overlay totally different historical facts on the ruins in front of you than the tour guide, who is rehashing the local, nationalized interpretation.

That's nothing. (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462860)

I wait until we can project information directly onto the retina, or even push it directly to the optic nerve or the brain itself.

You could get real-time subtitles for the person you're talking to. Their name would float above their head so there's no embarrassed fumbling as you try and remember who they are.

You could even have a small note beside them; "Last met at Jake's party 10/10/2009".

You could turn ANY FLAT SURFACE into a computer monitor by holding out your fingers to make a box where it should go. Make a different sign for "make a keyboard here", then type away.

You could also "airbrush out" advertising and unwanted images ("I'm a Fundie so I never want to see a nipple ever again!").

You could ask for directions and get an arrow. Couple the system with tiny cameras arranged, say, on your hat, and you could give yourself full 360 degree vision, or visual warnings ("CAUTION: CAR APPROACHING LEFT", etc).

You could take a picture by blinking twice.

You could zoom in.

You could make T-shirts that had a barcode on them instead of an image. The barcode gets read, and then the device projects something else over the top. If you're a metal fan, it says "SLAYER". If you're a Christian, it has a picture of Jesus. Etc.

And all that's off the top of my head. The possibilities are endless.

Re:That's nothing. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463072)

If you can do all that, why would you ever need to type?

And I'd be really curious what would happen to our brain if we'd get direct 360 vision implanted into our optical nerve. Fun times should abound.

Re:That's nothing. (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464182)

Really, really nauseated.

It'd take a bit to get used to it; it's quite different from the experiment about flipping vision around with mirrors since that dealt with the same amount of data in a fashion that was mostly similar. A quick look around online suggests that the human field of vision is approximately 150 degrees laterally and 120 degrees vertically. Full "spherical" vision would result in something like... 7 times more stimulation or so. Without mental restructuring, you'd probably develop some psychoses from trying divide your attention up so much.

Re:That's nothing. (1)

jezwel (2451108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463528)

you might want to apply for some patents of these!

They are like those patents that were updated for "using a computer". Yours could be "in augmented/virtual reality".

Re:That's nothing. (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464186)

What's a party?

There can only be one! (2)

quiet down (1795010) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462886)

The reason physical space has any value at all is that there is only ONE of that given space. If / When AR becomes a thing that actually matters, there is zero chance that only one AR 'space' within a physical space exists, making it meaningless if someone took your physical space and used it for whatever they wanted to in AR. No single entity will hold a monopoly over AR 'space'. There would be all sorts of varieties, such as MS, Apple, Starbucks, TPB, you name it. As soon as that 'space' is available to anyone who gives enough of a shit to set up something in an AR, all value it may have held is lost forever.

No monopoly? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464698)

Just like there's no monopoly in search engines, digital music stores, desktop operating systems and all those? I'm sure Google will push their street view pretty hard and having an AR shop on "maps" will get you well over 50% of cell phone users. If you don't believe me, just substitute Google for the company you think will dominate this market.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37462946)

So the only way to buy T-Shirts from the store is to go to the physical store, with the bonus of being able to whip out your mobile device and being able to buy online from the store while you're already at the store but you have to point your phone at the product or store. It's like the 60's thought up the Internet.

How about some actual innovative ideas? Are you a big fat fatty? Maybe it can send you on a tour of town while you work off your cheeto gut. How about transparent wearable displays with built in camera so you can see AR all the time instead of through a tiny window that you have to hold in front of your face? Maybe people can share their personal information on some AR-enabled social network/networks, and you can see the information when you look at them.

The only thing these morons could think up is taking a physical object and making it virtual, bravo, maybe soon you'll think up a way to replace the square wheels on my car with round ones.

Obligatory... (2, Insightful)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462950)

I, for one, welcome our Laughing-Man overlords.

Underground Services. btw I patent it first! (2)

labnet (457441) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463016)

A great app for augmented reailty would be underground service location.

Millions of people are digging up streets every day. If you could map all the underground services like sewer, water, electrical, data, storm water, you could use your iphone type device to 'look into' the ground before you begin excavation.
Obviously limited by the accuracy of the existing mapping data.

Re:Underground Services. btw I patent it first! (1)

jezwel (2451108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463560)

sotty labnet, this is already an iPhone app (though I don't think it's been released outside the enterprrise) that one of my local electrical companies was writing/using. Point your phone at the ground and see the services in their currently known locations.

They were using laser scanning for above ground items at 5cm resolution for the mapping, not sure how they intended to check the underground services though...

Re:Underground Services. btw I patent it first! (1)

labnet (457441) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463632)

sorry labnet, this is already an iPhone app

Damn... back to the batcave.....

Re:Underground Services. btw I patent it first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37467810)

And here's why that one, though highly useful, probably isn't getting made:
Ooooh, look, a gas main in a heavily populated area

WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463164)

The whole page is filled with this:

I still crap on all slashdot. You are cunts. Fuck you
Fuck you
You are cunts
Fuck you in the ass

If this is some kind of experiment, it went tits up in a hurry. Hit the reset button.

Re:WTF? (1)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463356)

Fascinating to see how quickly someone attacked it. And with such a base dialog.

Gotta wonder what drives people to such infantile behaviour. Child abuse maybe? I couldn't imagine engaging with this person in real life without thinking 'Sheesh. This guy has some seriously faulty wiring'.

Here's hoping that /. has some IP tracking and can filter it out fairly quickly.

Re:WTF? (1)

thunderclap (972782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464060)

you are on the wrong page.

Lame "augmented reality" (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463352)

Virtual billboards. A rather lame application of augmented reality, neither original or impressive.

There are far more interesting things one might do. Show the area as it existed at some time in the past. Show the tracks of all taxis and buses that have passed through. Show who owns each building, and its sales history. Color restaurants based on their inspection reports or reviews. Show locations of crimes in the area.

Or even show social stuff. Figure out who the cool people are from their Facebook links, and show the coolness of areas of a city from their tracking data. Show which businesses have negative feedback. Do something useful.

But no. All we get are ads.

Computing has become a branch of the advertising industry. It's discouraging. When IBM and Microsoft were on top, they were somewhat annoying monopolies. But at least they sold products to end users. Now, the end user is the product. The customers of Google and Facebook are their advertisers, not their end users.

Re:Lame "augmented reality" (1)

darrylo (97569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463944)

Yes, exactly. This kind of "augmented reality" will turn into nothing more than "augmented advertising". Seriously, do people not understand that the only purpose for this is "advertising"? Like I really want more spam in my life ....

And, yes, if I'm looking for a deal on a particular item, there are much easier, quicker, and less-in-your-face methods for finding deals.

Re:Lame "augmented reality" (1)

Tomato42 (2416694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37465436)

As long as they are Open or Free systems you'll be able to create ARAdBlock... Just boycott any non Open and tell your friends and family to do the same.

OMG (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463492)

They're right about one thing... You can't make an app that works on MY property. These are MY GPS coordinates, you can't trigger shit on them.... Oh man, somebody patent suing people over that so it can't happen.

There will be lawyers (0)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37463570)

"There will be lawyers"

There always are...
Like bacteria, you can assume they will always be probing every orifice looking for a way to disrupt you.

I'd like one of those glow-lights that reveal the presence of bacteria and make people exclaim in disgust, "Ewww! They're all over everything! They're all over ME!"... except this glow-light reveals the presence of lawyers and the friction and cost they introduce into everything we do, "Ewww! There is litigation all over everything! It's chilling effect is all over ME!"...

Says who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37463680)

Real space and its virtual overlay are being used by different people. There will be lawyers.

Not in my app there won't!!

Lawyers is all you can think of? Think *layers* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37464204)

Honey, I'm done remodeling. Bring your phone and have a look. Don't tell your friends just yet. It'll be a surprise when they come this weekend.

Yo dawg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37464208)

I heard you like shopping. So I put a virtual store inside your physical store so you can drive across town to mail order crap.

Off. Now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37464366)

You! Yes you. The space you currently occupy coincides with my virtual augmented lawn. Get off.

"There will be lawyers." (2)

quax (19371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37464846)

Truer words were never posted.

No high priced outfit will allow such cyber squatting of their realty.

They will unleash hordes of lawyers to peel back the augmented reality layers.

The funny thing is (1)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37465594)

Yes, being able to display a google earth layer over the camera on my phone would be cool. In theory. The problem with AR is that it combines cheap in-phone GPS results with low quality solid state compass data. I’ve got an app called “go sky watch”. It’s really cool in that it can show me where constellation, individual stars, elliptic line and the current locations of the sun and moon are. Too bad that more likely than not, it thinks my phone is pointed to a different part of the sky than it actually is. Wikitude suffers the same problem and is most useful in overhead map mode, where it is reduced to being a not as good as google maps, google maps clone.

For the foreseeable future, AR is just going to be a gimmick that” will become the next big thing sometime soon”.

Future developments (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37465960)

Today AR is mostly just used for marketing but it might become more useful when Kinect-like devices can be miniaturized enough to fit into a phone thus allowing it to truly see and understand its surroundings.

"There will be lawyers." (1)

Hasai (131313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467314)

Heh; that's like saying "there will be rain."
Face it; anywhere there's the least bit of money, there will be lawyers sniffing about.

Profound idea? No pointless. (1)

MjDelves (811950) | more than 2 years ago | (#37467774)

Why bother making a "virtual" store that is only accessible at one physical location?? The whole point of the internet is that you can access it anywhere. Surely it makes more business sense to make barcode scanning app so that someone can walk into any store, scan the item that they are interested in and either be given a list of online stores to buy it from at a cheaper price or a list of recommended alternatives based upon their tastes?
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