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Blog: future

AR Design Class: Maarten Introduces Layar

Chris Cameron July 5, 2011

As the summer continues, so does the Layar-sponsored augmented reality design class being taught in California to eager design students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. To give you a closer look at the class, here’s another video into which you can sink your teeth.



Anyone who knows Layar and follows this blog knows our outspoken co-founder Maarten Lens-FitzGerald gives talks all over the globe on a somewhat regular basis. However, you may not have seen a talk quite like this from Maarten before.



To kick off the design class’ semester, Maarten provided an introduction of Layar, the company’s history and where it stands today, some examples of the platform’s capabilities as well as a look into the future and where Layar thinks augmented reality is headed.



So check out the video below of Maarten’s talk. It’s a quick snapshot that summarizes many key and interesting points surrounding Layar and augmented reality.



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The Birth of The Digital Eye

Rhymo April 21, 2011

Last week I spoke at Mobile Convention Amsterdam. This time I did not talk about Layar and its vision for Augmented Reality, but about my personal vision on mobile and where this is all going. It was the first time that I shared these thoughts publicly, and it was pretty exciting to see the reactions!





And here’s an easier-to-view version of the presentation:

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Ricky Gervais: AR is “A Load of Bollocks”

Chris Cameron March 21, 2011

If his performance at the Golden Globes earlier this year said anything about Ricky Gervais, it’s that the comedian doesn’t pull his punches or censor his opinions. Such was also the case on a recent episode of “The Ricky Gervais Show,” an animated HBO series based on the podcast of the same name.



But this time Gervais’ victim wasn’t the low-hanging fruit of Hollywood. Instead, Gervais has let it known that he thinks augmented reality is “a load of bollocks.” Gervais wasn’t pontificating on the latest trends in technology. He was engaged in a lively, comedic discussion with his fellow show stars Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington in which the later was discussing his vision for the future.



After pointing out that in the future, the human species will be significantly weaker in strength, pants will be evolutionarily eliminated from existence and all of our food will be consumed in a blended paste form, Karl suggests the idea of augmented reality technology within an everyday pair of bifocals.



“Everything that’s real, you’re not looking at that anymore. This is really the future,” Karl says. “If you’re a young kid and you like the idea of living in the urban ghetto with all the graffiti on the walls, you can see that.”



“What you mean is that the stuff that’s there in the real world is being digitally reimagined in your glasses,” adds Merchant. “So what was a nice country lane is suddenly now an urban ghetto.”



Those familiar with augmented reality can immediately recognize Karl’s vision of the future, and one could say that this technology is not far off. The building blocks of such a future are being placed as we speak. But Gervais wasn’t convinced.



“Absolutely mental. Pointless. Won’t ever work. Absolutely one of the maddest things you’ve ever said,” he retorts. “That’s a load of bollocks.”



Obviously, we disagree with Mr. Gervais, but he’s still entitled to his opinion. Check out this YouTube clip of the discussion of the future (AR shows up at 3:53) or watch the embedded version after the jump and let us know what you think of Gervais’ dismissal of AR.



We’re with you, Karl!



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Watson, Augmented Reality and the Future

Chris Cameron February 21, 2011

One of my favorite news programs is On the Media, a weekly review of media which is broadcasted on National Public Radio (NPR) in the States. Over this past weekend, hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield debated the current status of technology and the Internet in our lives and whether we are following the “yellow brick road” to technological utopia or hurdling clumsily toward a Terminator/Matrix-esque dystopia.



The discussion inevitably arrived on the question of Watson - IBM’s fancy new super computer with 15 terabytes of human knowledge and an itchy trigger finger that easily defeats futile carbon-based lifeforms at a game of our own creation: Jeopardy!



Does Watson’s victory signal the end is nigh for human intelligence as we know it and the coming of SkyNet? Or will Watson be the first step on the road toward a utopian blending of humans and computers?



Eventually, Brooke and Bob’s discussion turned to the creation of “The Bionic Man” - the idea that in the future, technology and humans will become blended as one. As Brooke points out, some of this technology is available today in the form of Augmented Reality, and that the idea of “Google eyes” or “Terminator eyes” is not that far off.



University of Washington professor Babak Parviz explains that even today, we have the technology, albeit “very rudimentary,” to display basic text onto contact lenses. But years down the line, as this technology develops, will humans be better off for having the world’s information quite literally at a glance?



Garfield argues that technology of this sort would allow us to filter out topics and ideas with which we disagree, placing “high tech blinders” on our view of the world. Certainly any advancement in technology such as this could potentially be used in less than the friendliest of ways, but that is to be expected at a certain degree.



We here at Layar side with Brooke, who feels that bionic contact lenses and Augmented Reality glasses “makes us only more of what were going to be anyway,” and we’re proud to be one of the companies helping to lead the way toward this vision of the future.



But what do you think? Is all of this data a good thing? And what could intelligent super-computers like Watson mean for augmented reality? If you think you have an answer, please share it in the comments or on Quora!



And click here to listen to the On the Media segment about the future of technology and augmented reality!

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