“Pokemon Go” has made Augmented Reality wildly popular; this month, we’re asking in our latest Brainstorm competition – what Augmented Reality innovation do you think will be the next “killer app”? We are looking for the most well thought out answer to this question in up to 150 words: use the comment feature below the blog and please feel free to promote your research! The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth $50 and a bag full of Mendeley items; competition closes September 6th.
It’s usual to see people constantly staring at their mobile phones; it used to be that they were just texting friends or awaiting the latest post on social media. However, there is now a burgeoning tribe of gamers who squint, peer, then shift their phone around; they’re hunting for virtual creatures which are visible only to the eye of augmented reality. This craze has become so widespread that even the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, spent part of his time on a Sunday political programme hunting for virtual creatures rather than expounding on his policies. (Jeremy Corbyn learns to play Pokemon Go, 2016)
AR is nothing new; in 2012, Google launched “Google Glass”, a headset which integrated Google information with what users could see in front of them. In turn, users could take photographs and video. It wasn’t a commercial success; it broke the First Rule of Wearable Technology as described by the inventor of the NFC Ring (www.nfcring.com), John McClear: “Wearable technology shouldn’t be ugly!” Furthermore, users were also concerned that they were in effect sharing their lives with Google. Finally, there were safety concerns: a person paying attention to a virtual object may not take sufficient notice of real ones.
Despite the setbacks, augmented reality is becoming increasingly prevalent in the fields of medicine, architecture, education, and tourism. For example, AR is rapidly becoming a valuable tool for surgeons: while minimally invasive procedures have made patients’ lives easier, nevertheless, these “techniques bring up new difficulties for surgeons by greatly reducing their usual abilities” such as touch and depth perception. (Nicolau et al., 2011 p. 190) Though utilizing AR in this scenario has limitations (such as the fact that living beings aren’t rigid in their positioning), it was concluded “interactive augmented reality is a relevant approach to provide intra-operatively additional information to surgeons. This information usually can help for port positioning and give them confidence by showing them hidden structures at some steps with an accuracy which seems sufficient to them.” (Nicolau et al., 2011 p. 196)
Mobile Augmented Reality applications are also being tested in Greece to enhance the tourist experience; an application called “CorfuAR” “supports personalized content provision and navigation features to tourists on the move”. (Kourouthanassis et al, 2015, p. 72) The user journey can be personalized on the phone app according to interest: business, culture, religion, shopping, nightlife, gastronomy, nature study, tripping and water sports. (Kourouthanassis et al, 2015, p. 77).
With these and other applications, it seems that AR is here to stay; but where else will it show up? Tell us!
About Mendeley Brainstorms
Our Brainstorms are challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research. We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.
Jeremy Corbyn learns to play Pokemon Go (2016), BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36820874 [Accessed July 18, 2016]
KOUROUTHANASSIS, P., BOLETSIS, C., BARDAKI, C. and CHASANIDOU, D. (2015). Tourists responses to mobile augmented reality travel guides: The role of emotions on adoption behavior. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 18, pp.71-87.
NICOLAU, S., SOLER, L., MUTTER, D. and MARESCAUX, J. (2011). Augmented reality in laparoscopic surgical oncology. Surgical Oncology, 20(3), pp.189-201.