Is this year going to be the year for Augmented reality


This Year will probably be the time of AR.

Now at the end of 2012, we're already seeing a quick support of AR technology. Portable devices like tablets, mini consoles and smart phones are seemingly tailor-made for this new darling of the Information era.

So what's AR? Well, AR (or 'augmented reality' to its friends), is basically the practise of implementing CPU created images and/or information onto real life descriptions (at the least the type of AR we're talking here is, anyhow, its an open-ended phrase, so post your complaints in the remarks section, please). AR might be functional to paper supplements (so that when the reports or pictures are viewed on a smartphone app they jump to life and offer extra content), street corners (much like the application that can bring up all appropriate information pertaining to a restaurant, including comments, menus and exclusive offers, just by holding your phone in the direction of the eatery itself) and even the night sky (yes, some AR apps will in reality offer scientific data and Hubble telescope information on heavenly bodies and constellations as you look at them through your phone).

Augmented reality is coming concurrently in a huge way and make no mistake about it. Google Glass, a development unveiled by Google X Lab earlier this year, is one such instance. Taking the form of a fashionable set of glasses, Glass users will walk down the road and access any information they see fit as they are doing so. They'll even be capable of film their day by day proceedings, or take snapshots of everything as they occur. Reality might be re-shaped in real time by glasses; you can even use them to make video calls to loved ones. Google Glass will probably be offered to developers early next year and, by the start of 2014, will become commercially available, along with dozens of other exciting products of the ilk.

AR's impression on home entertainment (especially games) may even be felt, but there are also way more 'grown up' uses for that technology in the pipeline. Versions of Augmented reality are already being used to coach soldiers, educate would-be doctors and instruct firefighters in digital burning buildings. For those who do not have the money for a smartphone, Google Glass or the rest we've pointed out, you will see the effects of Augmented reality on television sports casting (take a look at the actual-time analysis overlaid on recent NFL games) and on shop window marketing (naughty high street chain Anne Summers pioneered a particularly unforgettable one earlier this year).

In 2013, with more money coming in from AR applications, games and gadgets, we can demand a rapid improvement of this technology. This means that by the top of next year, AR could be an inescapable fact of modern life. We expect Augmented reality to be a major selling point next year, with companies offering an increased quantity of Augmented reality-ready mini games as accessories on a variety of devices and more AR apps being developed than at any other time.

In the event you're in training as a surgeon, a soldier, a policemen or perhaps a fireman, the chances are that you'll stumble upon Augmented reality (if you have not already) in 2013. Certainly, this won't substitute the experience of dashing right into a burning building, going into battle or performing complex surgery (but it is not attempting to), but the chance is there for more thorough and meticulous training for specialists in these areas. In addition, it won't be long before CEO's and managers are holding AR-infused meetings, in which the attendees can access relevant information in real time, which will definitely beat a Powerpoint presentation any day!

In 2013, expect adverts, paper supplements and phone games to contain an mounting element of Augmented reality capability. AR is taking the fast track into our lifestyles and 2013 might be a pivotal time for this.

Next year is going to be the most technologically advanced time in mankind's story to date and, if that looks like an easy thing to mention, consider the scale of this proclamation. Like the Net before it, AR is about to make a big splash in our lives and 2013 is going to be the biggest wave so far. Simply, we could't wait for it...

Games pioneer John Carmack joins virtual reality headset firm


Update - The Group at Oculus are re-inventing the VR Headset with their kick starter funded Oculus Rift headset. John Carmack of half life, call of duty and Quake fame and a specialist in first person shooters, has joined the Oculus company to develop a game, seemingly a first person shooter, for the headset. Watch how this develops as the future of games might be in this appointment.

A firm developing a hotly-tipped virtual reality gaming headset has hired a gaming pioneer to be its chief technology officer.

John Carmack is famed for developing the first-person shooter genre, creating games such as Doom and Quake.

He will join Oculus VR to work on Oculus Rift, a goggle-like device which uses two small screens to "immerse" players into a game.

The company has not yet announced a release date for the headset.

However, developer kits have been sent out to companies keen to make use of the device within their titles.

The Oculus Rift, which has been made thanks in part to $2.4m ( 1.5m) raised through crowd-funding site Kickstarter, requires the user to wear a black headset, the front of which contains two small screens, each displaying a slightly different perspective on the same scene.

The effect is one of being "in" the game - if the player moves eadset_(bicycle_part) his or her head around, the scene changes accordingly.

'Transformative technology'

Movement is still achieved by using a traditional controller, although other designers have experimented with creating treadmill-like add-ons for the device.

Early demo models of the headset used a single screen divided to produce two 640 by 800 pixel images - one for each eye - but it is likely that the version that gets released publicly will be in high-definition.

Mr Carmack said: "Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer.

"The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today. I'm extremely excited to make a mark in what I truly believe will be a transformative technology."

Mr Carmack is best known for founding iD Software, the firm responsible for the likes of Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake and others - all of which pushed boundaries in what remains one of the most popular gaming formats.

Mr Carmack said he will continue to work with iD, but that his main focus was now on Oculus VR.

He also runs a small aerospace company, however this has been put in "hibernation mode" following various setbacks including a crashed rocket.

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