One of AR and VR’s criticisms is that they further isolate an already digitally-distracted culture (social media, etc.). The counter argument, at least for AR, is that it raises our gaze up from smartphones that are held down.
That’s certainly the case with glasses-based AR, but what about the nearer-term reality of mobile AR? Even there, use cases compel more of an outward focus — holding a phone up instead of down — as the physical world plays a greater role in the content and UX.
“Millennials are statistically going to take 27,500 selfies,” said Meta’s John Werner at an AR in Action event (video below). “That says something about how they see the world. The next generation may be more Pokemon Go, using technology to look out as opposed to [in].”
This is what ARtillry calls “isolation reversal” and was one of many topics of an on-stage discussion between Werner (our fellow panelist at UXNext) and SuperVentures partner and AWE founder Ori Inbar. Inbar sees this principle as a driving factor in AR innovation.
“The reason I got into AR about a decade ago is I saw my kids constantly in front of a computer screen or mobile devices,” he said. “I felt I can’t change that, but maybe we can extract some of the things that attract them to those computers and to the internet, and bring it into the real world.”
During the wide-ranging interview, the pair also discussed alternate AR modalities such as sound and smell. We’ve examined how sound could be AR’s unsung hero as something that can (and already does) augment perception. And it could come sooner than visual AR’s promise.
“Audio is huge,” said Inbar. “Many people think it will be adopted as a way to augment humans even before vision, because it’s something that’s much easier to absorb. Smell is already happening: There are experiments in Japan where you eat broccoli but see and smell a burger.”
Lastly, Werner and Inbar touched on the contentious topic of terminology. The alphabet soup of acronyms in the immersive computing spectrum — AR/VR/MR/XR, etc. — has incited several debates, and will continue to get butchered by marketing departments.
“I just hate all these terms, and I can’t wait for the moment in time where we just don’t talk about this tech, we just use it.,” said Inbar. “I don’t think it’s going to be immersive computing or even computing, or human computer interface. It’s just going to be be a human/world interaction.”
See below for the full interview which covers a range of topics but does so in a digestible 15-minute span. They also cover AR history, the interplay of AR & VR, and the evolution of the AWE conference. Check it out, and stay tuned for more knowledge-building videos every Friday.
Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.