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All posts tagged Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality Is Content…

Augmented Reality and by extension Virtual and Mixed Reality are the new content. Content is king. We’ve all heard it and read it multiple times over the last decade.

Content about us or our brand has an impact both positive and negative, often spreading virally.

Augmented Reality presents new challenges in how we manage and maintain our brand or reputation.

Ownership Issues

Augmented Reality is often location based. Just look at Pokemon Go, Snapchat / Instagram Location Based Stories and others. In the past, if content was written about you, your brand or physical site of your company, it was all about where it was hosted (blogs, social media, even video or Yelp reviews) but the big change with Augmented Reality is that the content is at your location and short of banning the use of apps or smartphones onsite, anyone can create AR content that is tied irrevocably to your location.

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Museums and art galleries are experiencing a reality where anyone can add digital content to them. Imagine the scenario where someone either creates an inappropriate or unwanted AR. Control of the ether has flown the coop.

Some see this as a positive transformation, but the big question is, how do you curate this content? In fact, can a museum, gallery or any other private or public entity claim ownership of the location base for the content added as an AR?

Does a museum etc even have any direct redress opposite the app developers to have reputation damaging AR removed? Imagine a politician running a campaign and his opposition creating an AR at his campaign HQ or his next speaking venue. What if the location is controversial and Augmented Reality added by visitors contains strong or equally controversial opinions.

The idea behind Augmented Reality as an immersive, additional layer of rich data that offers an experience we wouldn’t otherwise get is a powerful one. AR apps are not just about social media but also useful in industry, education and can contribute to a museum experience. With ARKit and ARCore our smartphones make it easier for us to create and consume AR content but with great power, comes great responsibility. Or does it in this case? Is the genie simply out of the bottle?

The Warptest POV

Instagram as an example is something we can be calmer about. In paying homage to Snapchat Stories, Instagram made this content temporary so the damage of a negative or unwanted AR is limited. Prior posts have raised the idea that technological disruption can swiftly become our Frankenstein’s Monster. I’m sure if you read the (example) Snapchat terms and conditions, there are clauses that indemnify the company and they clearly have guidelines for approving “lenses” and geo-filters. Snapchat are only one player in the AR market, Quis custodiet ipsod custodes?

Once again, legislation lags behind innovation. Can Augmented Reality content be considered intellectual property? Does ownership of the location supersede any right to create location base content? Is there even a way for a brand or person to easily monitor their AR reputation?

Museums and others like them will have to find solutions to this issue. This is a huge opportunity. An opportunity for the app creators to deliver a solution for searching locations for this Augmented Reality content. As for an appeal process for owners to claim their location and be able to request that apps take down hostile, offensive or other allegedly inappropriate content, search engines offer a similar solution so why not?

Third party developers may be able to develop a reputation management solution if these AR platforms offer an API that supports this.

Here’s a free suggestion for you Dennis, Swarm (formerly the app known as Foursquare) displays photos of check-in locations why not similarly offer AR for the check-in?

Augmented Reality - Swarm app

The real opportunity is for us to use location based Augmented Reality constructively.

We seem to have failed somewhat with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, let’s not fail with Augmented Reality.

Let’s Look At Alphega…

Alphega is a mobile app created by Nubis Technologies, a cool company based in Australia.

Whilst the app was initially available only on Windows Phone I’m giving the Alphega team a big hat-tip for launching on the Google Play Store for Android just before the holidays.

Windows Store Alphega App

What Is Alphega?

Before I get ahead of myself, Alphega is an excellent combination of Augmented Reality, Geo-location and Social Networking that allows you to see Social interactions around you in real time through your Smartphone camera or overlaid on a map.

The user can select which social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Foursquare to track and observe and can define the radius around themselves to capture these tweets, posts etc. within the app.

Alphega define themselves as,

Alphega is the periscope to social networking: a socioscope!”

Which is both an accurate and well thought out description.

The Warptest POV

I’m impressed by the app and enjoy using it. It has allowed me to discover people around me and see social interaction in a new way.

Alphega Augmented

Alphega Geo-location

Screen captures courtesy of the Windows Phone Store Alphega page

Tonight I’ll be at a networking event and I intend to see how the app performs in that context. If this allows me to identify and follow new people at the event then this will make a great app into a killer app IMHO.

So far the app has performed well, has not presented any major bugs and delivers a great UX. Will Alphega be launched on iOS? No idea but if you are interested then tweet and ask them here @Alphega_

Alphega is definitely my best app of 2014 so far and I give it a strong recommend if you are on Windows Phone or Android. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Google Glass and Microsoft Kinect…

Google Glass and Microsoft Kinect, both big time disrupters. Kinect the game-changer that allows your gaming experience to react to your body movements and voice. My first question when I first heard about this was, just how much processing power does it take for the Kinect to act as your primary interface?

Google Glass - actually this is Kinect

images courtesy of Microsoft’s  XBox – Kinect Homepage

Of course Microsoft are well on their way to realizing the full potential of Kinect. For example, voice controlled search via Bing, combined with XBox Live and more.

Next question: when is Windows Phone going to make this the primary interface?

Google’s Project Glass

Last week the whole tech blogosphere and beyond went wild about Google’s Project Glass. It is a sleek, wearable heads-up augmented reality display that will act as the user’s primary interface with the world.

Google Glass heads

images courtesy of Project Glass on Google+

It seems that according to what we know from the G+ page, Glass will interact with head tilt and other basic motion .. possibly using a gyroscope and or accelerometer (the example cited is for the Navigation System).

The Warptest POV

Google Glass sounds like an amazing concept that should be scaring the other platforms into playing catch-up.

In a nutshell were Project Glass (or a WP7 OS equivalent) to mate with the Kinect then the wearable, immersive, augmented reality interface would kill the competition.

However with Kinect the user may not need to look like an extra from Universal Soldier or Star Trek TNG:

Google Glass - Unisol    images courtesy of IMDB   Google Glass - STNG

Google Glass - Kinect phone mockup

(the image above is a mockup)

Redmond, if you are reading.. it’s catch-up time!