What it is: Apple filed a patent for an augmented reality design to help drivers navigate.
Augmented reality is still in its infancy but the potential is vast. Basically, augmented reality is enhanced vision and one area where people can use enhanced vision involves driving. Apple’s latest patent shows a possible use for augmented reality to not only give driving directions, but also display which lanes a driver should choose.
Augmented reality by itself is relatively meaningless other than from games like Pokemon GO. However when designed to work with crucial tasks that involve vision such as driving, augmented reality offers a huge potential.
At the simplest level, augmented reality in Apple Maps could provide directions. At a more complicated level, augmented reality could improve vision by allowing night vision capabilities or simply alerting the driver if objects appear on a collision course.
Initially, augmented reality will be restricted to smartphones and tablets, but eventually they’ll need to migrate to smart glasses where the iPhone will do the heavy processing and a wirelessly linked pair of smart glasses will provide the optics.
Right now, today’s virtual reality headsets try to do everything, which results in bulky, cumbersome, and heavy headsets. Augmented reality will require light weight glasses with the heavy processing done by the iPhone, which will soon have a processor faster than most computers currently on the market.
Augmented reality is coming to improve safety and optimize tasks that require vision such as driving. To benefit from augmented reality, it’s time to learn its capabilities and adapt them as rapidly as possible.
Remember, the first time people started accessing the Internet, they didn’t just transfer files but started asking themselves how they could build a business based on this new technology. The same will happen with augmented reality.
There will be companies specializing in developing and refining augmented reality and then there will be others specializing in using and applying augmented reality. The future for mobile computing and wearable computers will be augmented reality.