Following our earlier post “Making Augmented Reality mainstream – today” it was interesting to see the title of “Augmented Reality going mainstream at Nokia” earlier this month in their betalabs blog. The sense of Augmented Reality reaching a powerful tipping point is becoming thick in the air but what substance is there to it?
With mixed reviews on the Nokia blog about the Point and Find application, it seems there are enough symbian lovers out there championing the Finnish based giant and it will be interesting to watch this space. As Terri who authored the above mentioned post mentions “Stay tuned for more exciting news about augmented reality from Nokia!”.
At Explore Engage we have worked across various types of creative Augmented Reality applications on the Symbian platform. Some have been mere animations triggered by print or TV/on-screen images, some have gone further than that and included dynamic time sensitive mobile offers or instant win competitions facilitating digital, cash, product and money can’t buy prizes.
In analysing market acceptance, it is curious to observe the future prediction teaser video from Nokia which featured of course a Finnish beauty and romantic sms interlude between her and a picnic loving Romeo. Posted in September 2009, this look into the future video features 363 likes and 70 dislikes. See the video here:
As the video explains “This concept allows to you to experience immersion and effortless navigation in new ways. New types of interactions involving near-to-eye displays, gaze direction tracking, 3D audio, 3D video, gesture and touch. Through these new types of social linkages people will be connected in innovative ways between the physical and digital worlds” – Nokia Research Centre.
In looking at the adoption of augmented reality into the mainstream, we predicted last year that handset manufacturers would start using the technology as a sales hook to entice people to upgrade to smartphones. Following this prediction we saw a number of manufacturers follow suit like Samsung Electronics who used Layar as the leading feature of many advertisements for its hit smartphone model Galaxy S, last year’s top iPhone rival, which generated revenues of $5 billion.
In August 2009, when Wired magazine claimed “If you’re not seeing data, you’re not seeing”, AR was still more whimsy than real world to the VC world and almost unknown to the common man. Now we see key stakeholders in technology adoption Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung developing AR strategies.
Nokia still being a market leader in number of handsets world wide has an incredible opportunity to take advantage of the exponential growth in interest and applications for augmented reality. At the same time, fellow market leaders are not standing still on AR developments. It will be interesting to revisit this blog entry and related links in January 2012 to see how the handset race to Augmented Reality leadership unfolds.