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Augmented reality, the teeny tiny next big thing

Augmented reality offers the gifts of truth and information. And much, much more besides.

Heidelberg | New York,  29 May 2017

Book cover: Augmented Reality

Augmented reality isn’t going to be a big thing, according to author Jon Peddie. In his new book - Augmented Reality, where we will all live - he argues it's going to be everything. 

It will be our future guide, teacher and emergency service. It already augments our lights, TVs, automobiles and refrigerators. The next phase will be when it augments life from inside our bodies. 

Unlike virtual reality, which is immersive, augmented reality creates a composite view of the world. It provides inconspicuous, real-time localized information about where we are and about all the things around us. Display devices can be wearable or non-wearable. Wearable devices include headsets, helmets, smart glasses and one day contact lenses or even implants. Non-wearable devices include smartphones, tablets and weapons.

“Augmented reality holds the promise of forever altering and improving our lives,” says Peddie. “It will give us freedom from oppression, unlimited sources of information in real time and new ways to communicate and understand one another.”

This great potential is offered through microminiaturization. Semiconductors and nano-scale transistors, smaller than a virus, combine with tiny electro-mechanical devices that sense our movements, the earth’s magnetic poles, the local temperature and atmosphere’s pressure. We can receive precise information about our immediate environment. We can also send the same level of information about what we are seeing an experiencing, making us the archivers of life. 

Augmented reality can also be used to distort the world. For example, used in diet management it can make us think we’re eating more chocolate than we actually are. In the wrong hands, it could be dangerous. For example, it could be used by a corrupt government or corporation to abuse its power. Peddie explores the implications for law, ethics and privacy.   

He maintains that the technology will catapult us from the information to the knowledge age. In this Darwinian world of technology, where almost every possibility is tried and tested, he predicts that augmented reality will persist. It has the potential to make us all experts, with information at our eyeballs. We can choose to embrace it or try to thwart its inevitable march. 

Jon Peddie, the author of several books, is a pioneer of the graphics industry who was recently honored by the CAD Society with a lifetime achievement award.  

Jon Peddie
Augmented Reality
1st ed. 2017, XXXIII, 325 p. 229 illus., 205 illus. in color
Hardcover $44.99, €24.00, £44.99  ISBN 978-3-319-54501-1

Also available as an eBook ISBN 978-3-319-54502-8

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