I like this short video on advances in Augmented Reality by Applied Research Associates (ARA).
ARA supports DARPA’s Urban Leader Tactical Response Awareness and Visualization (ULTRA-Vis) program–to develop Augmented Reality (AR) for our soldiers.
Augmented Reality is “Virtual icons, avatars, and messages overlaid accurately on the real world.”
The purpose is to know”where you are and where objects are around you” and to “access information simply by looking at them.”
The interface is a heads-up wearable display, rather than an smartphone or tablet.
The AR integrates GPS, terrain information, commercial data, and sensors.
Further, you and others using this technology will be able to tag and share data in what I would call Social Reality (a mixture of social computing and augmented reality).
Here your world of information is augmented by other’s AR views shared with you.
AR offers an enormous opportunity to make our world far richer with information everywhere we look, rather than just when we look it up.
For it to be ultimately successful, the display will need to be worked in as an embed or overlay on our actual eyes (like a contact lens), rather than worn like Google Glass.
For the non-soldier, not every open field needs augmented reality–in fact, it would sort of spoil the natural beauty of it–but it sure won’t hurt to be able to turn it on, at will, to see which flowers are blooming and perhaps, whether there just might be a snake out there too. 😉