2010 Final Topics

2010 Horizon Report Preview pdf

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Critical Challenges

Key Trends

Simple Augmented Reality

2010 Final Topic: Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years
The related topic "augmented reality" appeared in the 2009 Economic Development Edition.

The term augmented reality (AR) was first coined in 1990 by former Boeing researcher Tom Caudell. The idea is to blend, or augment, primarily location-based data accessed on the web with what we see in the real world. Wireless mobile devices are increasingly driving this technology into the mobile space where the applications offer the most promise. Initially, AR required unwieldy headsets and kept users largely tethered to their desktop computers. With the rise of smartphones and other increasingly powerful mobile devices, many equipped with high-quality cameras and GPS capabilities, AR is showing its legs in a number of applications. The improvement in technology allows more streamlined approaches and wider user adoption. Currently, many AR efforts are primarily based around entertainment and marketing, but will spill into other areas such as education once the technology matures and becomes more simplified.

Augmented reality has strong potential to provide both powerful contextual, in situ learning experiences and serendipitous exploration and discovery of the connected nature of information in the real world. Of particular relevance is AR gaming. Creating games based in the real world augmented with various networked data can give gamers and educators powerful new ways to show relationships and connections in the real world.

Relevance for Teaching, Learning & Creative Expression

  • MIT's Scheller Teacher Education Program is using AR and exploring its potential in a number of disciplines. They have developed a game called Environmental Detectives using GPS enable devices to uncover the source of a toxic spill.
  • The Four Eyes Lab at Univ. of California Santa Barbara is engaged in a number of innovative AR research and demonstration projects.
  • AugmentThis! is a mobile service that accepts KML (Google Earth) files, which can then be viewed on an Android phone, overlaying the data through the camera on the phone.


  • ARSights is a website and tool that allows you to visualize your 3D models out of Google Earth, based on the company’s AR-Media augmented reality platform: http://www.arsights.com/
  • Total Immersion created 3D Topps baseball cards and other implementations: http://www.t-immersion.com/
  • The company Layar has been leading the way in mobile phone AR space with apps for the iPhone and Android phones: http://layar.com/

For Further Reading

If You Are Not Seeing Data, You are Not Seeing
(Brian Chen, Wired Gadget Lab, Aug.25, 2009) This Wired article gives a good overview of augmented reality, including where it currently is situated and what to expect in the future.

Map/Territory: Augmented Reality Without the Phone
(Brady Forrest, O'Reilly Radar, Aug. 17, 2009) This post covers what augmented reality might look like beyond just using devices like the iPhone.

Mobilizy Proposes Augmented Reality Mark-up Language to The AR Consortium
(Ori Inbar, Games Alfresco.com, Sept. 22, 2009) This article discusses markup languages for augmented reality browsers that could leverage existing technologies such as Google Earth.