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...