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December 29, 2008

Best of 2008 in Future Technologies – Augmented reality

GLOBAL (physically and digitally) – The idea of interacting with the real world through a digital overlay is not new. Folks have been discussing this augmented reality for some time. But, here at Nokia Conversations, it’s one of the top stories of 2008, since we realized we wrote a ton of stories around sensors, augmented reality, what’s been going on, and where it’s all going.

And while we might be overly optimistic about a sensor-filled world, it’s important we heed the cautions from folks who have been thinking of this longer than most of us.

Interestingly, many of our stories originated from Nokia’s own research laboratories. Folks from labs in Lausanne, Palo Alto, and Helsinki are exploring what happens when objects start collecting information on their own, or when objects have extra information only seen through an mobile device, for example, for tourism or commerce. There is also interesting work on how to make mobile sensors help in weather, health, or traffic monitoring.

But, such work can be found in many places, as witnessed by this game that is overlayed on the real world and is revealed through the phone’s camera.

And, with hints at a future of objects becoming as smart as puppies [hat tip to Moleitau for the phrase], will everyone have their own augmented reality? I don’t know, but for sure, if 2008 is any indication, 2009 will be even more interesting in this area.

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Image by [niv]