In the first two installments of this series, I predicted that augmented reality will become mainstream in 2011, and that virtual air rights and virtual copyright law will figure prominently in the public arena. If both of these predictions come true, then to me it’s logical that we can also expect:
Trend Three: 2011 will be the year in which marketers will embrace the paradigm-shifting aspect of augmented reality in regards to how data will guide our decisions for human interaction.
I LOVE this iScreener comic, one of a series of hilarious comics from Abstruse Goose.
It quickly and visually points out the following:
When technology meets utility people begin using an application without caring about how it works. I always talk about GPS in this regard—when’s the last time you used a paper map in the car? Do you lament the loss of serendipity (or fights with your spouse) now that you guide your drives via a calming voice emanating from the box stuck to your windshield?
Probably not. So fast forward to a time when mobile phones that use Augmented Facial Recognition Technology (like Recognizr as written about here in The Huffington Post) become ubiquitous and picture a local tavern near you. Dating sites like Match.com will soon use AR Dating apps (as explained in this article from Augmented Planet ) to let you do what the woman is doing above in the comic—scan a potential date to see whether or not he or she is worth speaking to. In the same way you avoid an entire town on the highway because it doesn’t register in your GPS, you’re going to start avoiding multiple potential human interactions because of the available data about the people you scan.
Summary : Serenduplicity
It’s a good rule to not lionize or demonize technology; how people use tech is what defines its positive or negative effects. But one overarching aspect of the attributes surrounding Augmented Reality is how it allows users to see only what they want, which includes items offered to them by marketers. Whereas Thomas Husson in his report for Forrester, Mobile Augmented Reality: Beyond the Hype, A Glimpse Into the Mobile Future called Augmented Reality the “new remote control of our personal daily lives,” I’d categorize AR as more aptly being a GPS for our lives that’s deeply influenced by the data supplied to our smartphone as it evolves over multiple social and economic interactions.
My point here (besides working too hard to make a pun out of the word, “serendipity”) is to note a dramatic change in how we will receive information in 2011. As Facebook continues to integrate its Open Graph Protocol into search, how we learn will be more and more determined on the preferences of our closest friends. Rather than pull links focused on keywords, we’ll essentially pull the aggregated opinions of our social graph. And with augmented reality, we will see and be directed towards those results as if we were in our cars, literally steering towards decisions made from a form of group-think versus reactions to data we view with greater objectivity when it comes from an unknown source.
Although this scenario may sound Orwellian and negative in nature, it need not be if keyword search continues to be available so people can choose which information to see and when. But 2011 will bring both clarity and confusion to this subject, especially as viewed through the lenses of Augmented Reality.
Comic used with permission from Abstruse Goose.