Augmented Reality Trends: SixthSense, Google Glass & Smart Fridges

Galen Schultz small
Galen Schultz
, Witness This Editor

Augmented reality trends has been a hot topic since we were first able to video chat over the Internet. I recall getting really excited about AR when I watched a TED Talk back in 2009 about SixthSense Technology.

Augmented Reality Trends: SixthSense Technology

Augmented Reality Trends: SixthSense Technology

SixthSense Prototype (Image Source: pranavmistry .com)

The SixthSense prototype (shown above) was really a combination of devices – a camera around your neck, a smartphone in your pocket and a pocket projector and mirror on your person; but the functionality of this assembly of technology was something to behold.

As described on the Pranav Mistry website, “SixthSense is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information.”

With SixthSense one is able to take photos simply by making a square with your fingers and thumbs. You can scan products in store for more information, and even scan plane tickets on the way to the airport for updated news on whether or not your flight is delayed.

Augmented Reality Trends in Fashion

But what of the latest augmented reality trends? Well Google is once again at the forefront of such gadgetry with the first release of Google Glass (a sort of advanced version of SixthSense).

This fashionable eye-wear allows you check weather forecasts, take pictures and videos (and share these), do basic Google searches, read and reply to messages and emails, hang out on Google+, get directions, tell you the time and respond to voice prompts.

It’s easy to get really excited about Google Glass after watching a video such as the above. The song alone almost makes you want to go ski-diving and start living a fuller life. There are, however, major privacy concerns regarding Google Glass. Wearers could be filming you while in the bathroom, for example.

There are also several technical shortfalls with this first edition of Google Glass, but there’s no doubt that it will soon evolve into something better. Google has at least planted the seeds for a possible future behind a screen.

Augmented Reality Trends in Food

Augmented reality trends can now also be found in the kitchens of the rich and famous. Smart appliances can all be controlled from your smartphone and can communicate with one another over wireless networks.

Augmented Reality Trends: The LG Smart Refrigerator will tell you what  to buy, cook and eat (image lgnewsroom.com)

The LG Smart Refrigerator will tell you what to buy, cook and eat (Image Source: lgnewsroom.com)

We now have smart fridges on the market which can let you know when you are running low on particular produce, add such items to a digital shopping list and place your order for fresh groceries from a touch interface on the front of the fridge itself. Supermarkets are likely to be very different in the not-so-distant future. They will certainly be less populated.

Both LG and Samsung have taken a keen interest in developing smart appliances. LG’s smart fridges included a “Health Manager” feature, which “… recommends recipes and menus based on personal profiles that take into account factors such as an individual’s age, gender, weight, height and Body Mass Index … Should consumers wish to cook a recommended dish, they can select the dish and press “Send to Oven,” which sends the necessary information to a LG Smart Oven and automatically arranges the proper oven settings.”

Of course, mass use of such technologies does run the risk of transforming modern society into a more divided and anti-social bunch of humanoids. While being so much more connected in an augmented reality sense, we become less connected physically. We may become so transfixed with what is happening behind our screens that we ignore people right in front of us. We may even miss out on opportunities of meeting someone special while both reaching for the last tin of apricot jam…

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