Google Pushes Augmented Reality

December 8, 2009 — Leave a comment

Yesterday, Google announced that it is sending 100,000 window decals to local businesses around the country. These are businesses that users regularly search for on Google and Google Maps.

Each window decal has a unique bar code, known as a QR code that you can scan with any of hundreds of mobile devices–including iPhone, Android-powered phones, BlackBerry and more–to take you directly to that business’s Place Page on your mobile phone. With your mobile phone and these new decals, you can easily go up to a storefront and immediately find reviews, get a coupon if the business is offering one or star a business as a place you want to remember for the future. Soon, you’ll be able to leave a review on the mobile page as well, just like on your desktop.

This is a major investment that will bring the digital and real worlds ever closer together. I’m happy to see Google taking concrete steps to promote this kind of change.

In other augmented reality news, John Robb is writing about augmented reality and tribal layers. Also, researchers show brain waves can write on a computer. Subjects in the experiment were able to choose letters from a grid on a monitor with almost 100% accuracy simply by thinking. The downside? Researchers had to cut their skulls open to put electrodes directly on their brains. Oh well, it’s a start.

This article about the Augmented Reality Development Camp provides a good primer on the technology, as well as some of its open questions: can we create common standards for a totally new kind of digital technology before it’s too late? How do we filter an overwhelming amount of data? How do we make this technology useful and not just an annoying distraction? What does it mean when individual people are all capable of experiencing reality differently?

Mark Jacobsen

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A U.S. Air Force officer, C-17 pilot, Middle East specialist, and writer... a lifelong student dedicated to building a better world.

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