According to analysts Juniper Research, augmented reality via mobile phone will be big business come 2015. How big? A cool $1.5 billion (that’s £928 million to you, pommie).
We’re sure the majority of Mobotniks are au fait with the concept, but for those who don’t know – AR essentially adds a layer of gumpf onto the real-world image on your phone’s viewfinder. It has practical applications in GPS, or in tourism where it displays points of interest. A number of AR games have been developed too.
In the report, Juniper Research gives props to Qualcomm’s AR-software development kit, pre-loaded AR browsers from Samsung (in selected markets), and AR-boosted advertising from boozeheads Carlsberg and soft-drink super-power Coca Cola.
The report’s author, Dr Windsor Holden, explains: “One of the key benefits from this heightened activity is the fact that it generates press interest and public awareness: even if consumers don't necessarily understand how it works, they can see real life examples of AR in action.”
He went on to add: "Likewise, it serves to generate wider interest amongst brands and developers who can see potential applications for AR technology; it educates the market."
You took the words right out of our mouth, Holden.
Augmented reality is still in its relative infancy, though innovative apps like Word Lens – which uses optical character recognition to translate text – have helped to capture Joseph Public's imagination.