AR stands for Augmented Reality
Couple of years ago this short movie came out. Sci-fi enthusiasts like me were hyped.
It was amazing - not the message it sent, of course, but how far the technology went.
Today we see that future is not that far away from here. At this point we saw only a glimpse of what AR can achieve and it was god damn impressive (not talking about Pokemon GO, Go away) - the idea that we can redefine the border between virtual reality and our physical world has been mesmerizing, as for our small pathetic brains.
But how far can it go ? Hell, I have no idea. But there is bright future ahead of us as well as some really dark times (I will talk about global warming another day).
What AR can achieve is amazing.
VR vs AR
First we will argue what's better. Well they are both alike, but meanwhile they are so different. VR is letting us go in another virtual reality, where you could be mage, or a warrior, or even a dragon if you'd like. But it will take time and a lot of computing power (one that we do not have, yet) to achieve that. For now VR is just squares and pixels with 50 to 250ms lag - which is not really what hoped for. But the same goes for the AR and it doesn't matter, because we will eventually go there. What matters is that we need to see the difference.
VR keeps us away from the reality border - safe and sound, while AR smashes through it. AR combines our world with a lot of virtual goodies. I'd really prefer the AR, since what it will do is improving our lives the way VR will never be able to. While VR is strongly aiming at games, 3D modeling and video extending, AR is going for far more important and life-changing goals.
It can fix us
Fixing our sight without laser surgery - safe and sound is only one of the ideas that recent hackatons came with.
With extensive brain training it can cure a lot of psychical illnesses. And not just that, but as well as brain disorders and much more. Especially this brain hacking part could also lead to a lot of bad, bad stuff
AR could also cure our materially dependent world. Our world now is broken. We live our lives making money, just to afford nicer things - stuff that are here a short period of our lives. We live 70-80 years on this planet and we spent half that time worrying about stuff that doesn't really matter. Hell, I talk like spiritual apache leader from the 500 BC. But that's the truth.
Look at the stuff you have at home that are there only to keep you entertained and give you comfort - a $2000 TV, your $2500 laptop, the useless desktop you paid $1500 just 2 years ago and used 2 times, clocks in every room, pictures hanging from the walls - to make the place cozy, couple gadgets like tablets, phones that come as 2-3 grand toys that you only play Angry birds on. Look at the room of our sci-fi friend from the short movie. It was merely empty he never cared about those stuff (we exclude the fact that he is complete psychopath) but what AR gave him is the removal of need for material stuff that he doesn't need.
A future AR home would be much more clean, simple and with a lot less stuff.
It will unite us
By removing the material stuff from the priority list of our lives AR will allow us to become more social, more open, more loving, more friendly and carrying. It may not happen in 5 years, but trust me it will happen.
It will ruin us
I don't think it's the best order since my 3 chapters will come hand to hand in the development of future AR technologies, but whatever.
With AR's evolving brain hacking technologies we will surely see some blackhats hacking into people's lives like never before.
A 50 year old married man with 3 children and 7 grandchildren, working hard for 25 years, no brain disorders, flips, stands on his desk in the middle of the office, shits his pants and jumps out of the window.
and this could be in the CNN morning news 5-10 years from now.
All that because some 20 years old asshole from South Carolina decided it would be funny to use machine learning API while hacking some guys AR kit and make him think he is a flying dog. That's a possible future as well.
We should be hyped, we should be frighted.