Three Future-Looking Videos Of Augmented Reality For Business

Augmented Reality is certainly in it’s infancy, and we know that at best, is experimental. I’m new to this space but am watching, and learning from Robert Rice and Dave Elchoness to see  how it develops. While a few years out, see the proposed Hype Cycle, let’s spend time thinking about what the future could hold.

I’m in intake mode. Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched as many augmented reality youtube clips as possible, reading blog posts (as there are no real articles yet from mainstream) and talking to smart folks. What I’ve noticed? Many videos are folks excited about the toys –yet with little reference to how it impacts business. I’ve also been experimenting with Yelp’s monocle, which is sub-par at best, it’s really early days. My biggest challenge? I’m in the wrong country. The innovation and adoption with these tools will come in Europe and Asia –not the tethered American market.

I found a few videos that are void of the “Shiny object” syndrome and focus on how this could improve people’s lives –or fulfill a meaningful business need, here’s three:

Above Video: Supplemental Information Added On Location.
Dutch company Layar appears to be one of the emerging platforms that enables data to be added to physical locations. It’s location specific and allows content to be shown through the display of a phone related to real estate, shopping, and healthcare. Add on a social layer (where are my friend, or should I know them?) and things could become more useful.

Realtà Aumentata – Augmented Reality from soryn on Vimeo.

Above Video: Contextual Information While Reading Book, and On Location
This Italian video shows how virtual reality glasses (glasses are more fantasy than reality… yet) could be used to provide auxiliary content while reading books –or in real world as the character goes to those physical location and is able to get more information. Imagine if every book you read could provide supplemental information from the web or other digital devices. What if every example you read in Groundswell showed a YouTube video of each story –each executive who is mentioned shows their profile information powered by wikipedia, and pictures and speeches from flickr and YouTube. I’ll chalk this video up as certainly futuristic, but showing potential increase knowledge opportunities.

Above Video: Social Data and Contact Info Overlayed in Business Setting.
This future video created by Tat, doesn’t get into the business setting until half way the video, but shows how additional information can be seen in real life. An audience member can ‘scan’ the speaker, and get additional information about their presentations, contact info, and even rate them. Scanning around the table, I had a chuckle when you could see people’s “Mickey Mouse ears” of social site icons appear above their faces.

Early days –but interesting to watch.
It’s early days for the Augmented Reality space, yet that shouldn’t keep us aware of what’s going to emerge in the coming years. Expect innovation and adoption in Europe and Asia, with the US trailing behind. Early bridges will display data from existing web-data bases like Yelp, Facebook, Wikipedia, and review sites. Remember when some websites were not compatible with certain browsers, the AR space is also in it’s infancy as many applications don’t run on all mobile platforms and the data sources are limited.

Lastly, I’m considering hosting an event at our “Hangar” in San Mateo, CA to focus on the business potentials of mobile social networks and augmented reality. Perhaps in Q1, 2010. Let me know if you’d be interested in participating, leave a comment below.

52 Replies to “Three Future-Looking Videos Of Augmented Reality For Business”

  1. Jeremiah: I am completely fascinated with this space and the potential of it for the furniture industry. If I can, I would love to attend a conference around it and/or take the tools and apply them as a “virtual” case study re: the furniture industry and present it as a breakout to retailers.

    Thanks, Jeremiah-you are always shining the light for the rest of us so we can see a bit more clearly what lies ahead.

  2. Leslie. Yes, there are opportunities for the furnishing space to overlay a real world house with potential products. It’s very possible.

    Antonella, that’s what Leslie was talking about. Think about impacts for Amazon, BestBuy, Target, WalMart and other retailers beyond just furniture.

  3. Hey Jeremiah.

    I see a huge opportunity for AR and live events. Being able to connect with others, schedules, local attractions etc. Hope to have some things to share on this in the near future.


  4. Thanks for the mention, Jeremiah. GoWeb3D is spending a lot of time with AR these days both the QR code variety — where the user points his/her webcam at a code and sees AR on the screen — and the mobile, GPS based, where we integrated Yelp, Flickr, Wikipedia, UDR apartments, and others with the Layar Reality Browser. As we experiment more with AR, I’m confident that we’ll identify uses that everyone — first adopter techie or not — will find useful. Being able to decorate the interior of your room via AR, is just one compelling example. Consider also: integrating AR into live sporting events so that users can not only learn about the game, teams, players etc on the fly, but also easily find the restroom! Entertainment will be entirely transformed by AR when film clips, music, promotions, games, even AR friends will be retrieved out of thin air. We’re headed into something very exciting and I’m thrilled to be participating. Best regards, Dave

  5. Hi Jeremiah. I’m really glad to see you turning your attention to AR – it is undoubtedly going to be one of the major areas of interface development over the next 12 months. I look forward to hearing your opinion once you get further under the skin of this exciting new development. very best, Alastair.

  6. Hey Jeremiah: Thanks for commenting on my post. I am watching this area very closely as I know,eventually, either IKEA or someone else very smart will see the potential and dive in.

    Pls. keep in touch with me-this has huge applications for all of us in the home furnishings space. I am speaking again in Las Vegas next February and if any of these companies want to touch base with me for a possible demo of their product during my presentation-please let me know. They can reach me at


  7. As a fellow geek- augmented reality apps look cool.

    As a devils advocate / realist, I can’t help but think- while these applications could provide valuable data in a very unique way, stop and think about from a cultural perspective, will the mainstream really use their phones to do this?

    I mean, just think of all the studies and your own usage of your camera phone. It’s a low percentage in regards to the number of people who actually use their camera in their phone. That said, there seems to be a bigger shift here more than the development of the technology itself. Just food for thought from my perspective.

  8. #AR is an amazing technology because it allows us to look at the existing world with new eyes.

    When my great-grandparents immigrated from Japan, they were overwhelmed with a world entirely in English. AR would enable visitors to look at “our” signs in “their” languages — and that’s just for starters.

    What a way to get more tourism to your community, especially for those Russians and Chinese with lots of ready cash!

    And…think about augmented reality on your bookshelf — instead of merely looking at the book titles on the spine, you could see thumbnails of the pages you or your friends had “dog-eared” — with, of course, the ability to jump to those pages.

    If you made notes about that book, you could have the option of sharing those notes with the author, and be able to access the author’s responses by looking at the book using #AR, instead of going through the far clumsier activity of going to your computer to get information about that book!!

  9. I think maybe the answers you are looking for will be best answered by asking a different question, and I would suggest technology people (without generalising) are not necessarily the best people to answer this question.

    Instead of asking how this will impact business, ask how will this impact human behavior and interaction. For example, MIT nailed this approach earlier this year by asking how this technology can improve upon the decision making process. I think this is the key, business applications that support the decision making process.

    In case you missed this TED Talk by MIT researchers:

  10. Read the future now… Spook Country William Gibson. Has a superb take on augmented reality. I won’t say more but this is a must read if you’re interested in how artists *may* put Augmented Reality to use.

  11. Great post Jeremiah, I am suddenly having flash back from Microsoft surface and wearable UI’s discussions from TED 2 years ago. I wonder based on your research, can you tell in which areas are AR likely to mature and make a greater impact in the near future?

  12. One more example for Augmented Reality is the Google SkyMap | Beyond The Beyond

    @fcseh – on twitter

    Thinking about wikipedia on an AR browser, or a Google/Apple/Microsoft book-reader using AR … and many other possibilitis that can make “keep it simple” to keep it big. ☼

  13. J: I found your post dejavu and akin to when IBM announced it was using LAN technology (something Jobs did at NEXT back in the late 1980’s). For real ‘out there’ AR, check out FXPAL at Xerox Park. They have some of the foremost geeks (we’re taking seriously geek) who’ve been working on AR for like the last six or seven years. You want to see the future… go visit them. And no, I don’t work for them nor am I paid by them. I just found some of their work a trip.

  14. Jeremiah,

    Can you make a place where we can all submit our Augmented Reality Ideas – sort of a crowdsource. Many ideas won’t work but some might be useful.

  15. I also made a post about this recently and my conclusion was that the b2b market is overlooked. Has anybody seen any good dedicated b2b solutions? Alone the wow factor can be used to create attention to a company even for a not very advanced solutions like the Lego in store promotion display has done.

  16. Am very interested in the possibilities of AR in the museum/cultural arts/historic sites environs–and would be very interested in “virtually” attending a Hangar meeting in 1Q10-thank you for writing and keeping us up to date on your thoughts on AR.

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  18. Great post, I referenced it in a post I just completed HERE. One of the most interesting things is the relationship between the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality, they seem to be bound by the same fundamental requirements in both technology and adoption. Thanks for the post.

  19. Another view on this is a piece called Articulated Naturality Web. . . well worth looking for on google… its good to see the video using eyeware. . . that’s where the future lies!!

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