Thursday, 9 January 2014

Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things

As I explained a while back, this blog is all about my exploring the relationship between Augmented Reality and the Internet of Things.

In my Manifesto for the Internet of Things, I described my vision:

To invisibly merge the real and the virtual, creating ambient and ubiquitous interaction, and to empower people over the control and sharing of their physical items, virtual data and the rules that animate them.

Of course, none of this is particularly original. Mark Weiser's vision of Ubiquitous Computing from the Eightie's amounts to much the same thing:

Ultimately, computers would "vanish into the background," weaving "themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it."

However, do a Google search for "Augmented Reality" "Internet of Things", and there are very few who share the view that Ubiquitous computing can be realised by the combination of these two hot topics.

Here's a Wired article from 2010. And ABI Research agrees. That's pretty much it.

But it seems obvious to me that, if we are to be surrounded by a fabric of reality merging with the virtual via the Internet of Things, we ourselves will play within that fabric using what we today call "Augmented Reality", via smartphones, tablets, glasses and projectors, or holographic projections and wall-sized screens that react to our gestures.

Maybe IoT people just naturally embrace AR without a second thought. Not sure if AR evangelists are so aware of the potential of the IoT, though.


  1. I believe AR and the Internet of Things can combine nicely, though I'm not particularly fond of the IoT protocols available today.

    Will you be picking up some AR glasses soon? E.g. Meta or Glass?

    1. Hi David!

      IoT protocols at various levels of the stack: BT/BLE, WiFi, HTTP, Z-Wave, 6LoWPAN, CoAP, IPv6, RFID, NFC, ZigBee, MQTT .. you like none of these? :-)

      Life's like that: you use and adapt to what's popular, which usually correlates to crap in at least two significant dimensions.

      I'm looking at BLE, WiFi and HTTP right now, and will look at Z-Wave, 6LoWPAN, CoAP and IPv6 at some point, I expect. I'm probably not going to look into RFID, NFC, ZigBee or MQTT.

      I'll look out for cheap AR glasses, but only for fun, it's not a priority.

      I'm guessing you spotted this blog through G+, eh? I was wondering when G+ would be useful to me!

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