!Warning, this is a rant! With the growing interest in augmented reality, I continue to notice where presenters, bloggers, researchers, and other have misinformed their audience about the subject. To use the most generic of references, “Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics.” – Wikipedia

Now I have messed up before in a presentation sure, who hasn’t? But lately I see more AR evangelists misrepresenting the technology behind AR campaigns and applications.

Why do I care you may wonder? Besides wanting people to be educated correctly, as a developer of augmented reality applications, this makes it very difficult when dealing with clients new to the space. They come in wanting an application that utilizes the same AR+x technologies that were used in a popular campaign they heard about, and are puzzled when told they were misinformed at some big conference or event by a panelist that is supposed to be the AR expert.

I have heard where applications that solely used computer vision leveraged the Kinect interface, that Google Goggles is AR when even Google calls it image search, and those that reference AR Youtube videos that are 100% mock up as working applications.

I recently experienced at a big event here in San Francisco where a presenter talked about the pros & cons of an AR medical application they had pictured on one of their slides. When the session ended and opened to Q & A, I used the opportunity to inform the speaker and audience as to what the real nature of the application was for. When asked by the presenter if I worked on the project, I politely said, “Yes, it is me in the picture.” I am very grateful to the speaker for liking my app enough to include it in their presentation, but wish in the future they would reference it correctly or preface, “apps like this can be used for …..” not just make up something and state that is what it is.

Now I have never experienced this at an event with AR companies presenting or those that work with the technology. Going forward I hope events that include an augmented reality session on the agenda have presenters from the industry (not just enthusiasts) so correct information about the technology can be shared with the audience. Thank you.  *step down off soapbox