Most of the points in the Forrester report is for the mostly spot on, and this is coming from someone who created Virtual Reality Apps back in the beginning and knows what overhype looks like. I think a good definition of what Augmented Reality for mobile is; should be considered. Back in mid 2009 I wrote an article trying to nail that down so that we do not get confused between what is AR and what is simply an HUD overlay. I also expand on what a device needs from a functional point of view and even go into a few apps that I though we ‘could’ see showed phones get these capabilities. The fun things is; almost every hypothetical application has been created!  And its only been a year and a half!  But back to the report, despite the fact its overhyped, I do see progress as mobile devices get faster and faster, but there will always be a wall, simply because with exception to entertainment, there are very few occasions where interaction with the immediate 3D scene is required to give us the information we need for day to day geo tasks.

That being said, what I DO see gaining traction is more use of 2D QR codes. This is not AR per se, but the combination of user ID, location and orientations, and QR code triggers could provide us with not only more contextual information, but richer information that can take advantage of 3D.

One other point we should not ignore, and its was covered in the report, that the ‘wow’ factor of AR will always have some value, but I expect that to be short lived. If we learned anything from the VRML days, is once people have experienced wow a few times, they stop being ‘wowed’.  An AR experience needs to provide something that you cannot get using a normal 2D display. Here is an excerpt from my article on AR for Mobile.

… Sure, we will have a plethora of direction applications, subway routes
(as we have seen), landmark identification, and geo caching will be taken to
the next level.  But lets imagine a bit further.
Perhaps you can play cards with your friend on a table without any
cards. Prices and additional information for goods in the supermarket.
Not only can we employ a iHUD like trick to get an overlay on the
windshield, but we could calibrate the display to coordinate to the
road such that we would have directional arrows appearing on the road.
Perhaps the next time you and your friend are separated in a crowd,
you get a real life position tracker to take  you right to them!  Not
sure who is who in a room?  With facial recognition or badge ID
patters, you will get a personal ID popup …

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