Gartner hype cycles are like chiropractors. They can snap your thinking into more correct alignment.
As an example, I’ve been thinking about augmented reality for the last six months or so, especially in relation to GIS (which I cover for the utilities sector). My thinking was probably optimistic and needed some adjustment. What does Gartner say? How mature is this – really?
Gartner has covered AR in relation to mobile computing – as an example, see Contextual Smartphone Applications Will Exploit Augmented Reality, Sept 2010. Strategic Planning Assumption: By 2014, AR will become an indispensable component of mobile contextual experiences delivered to smartphones, and some AR products will be integrated with context brokers.
A second article is Emerging Technology Analysis: Augmented Reality Shows What Mobile Devices Can Do (March 2010).
Finally, AR also shows up on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Human-Computer Interaction, 2011 (just issued, July 2011). Tidbits from that report:
- “3D displays, augmented reality and tablets cluster at the peak…”
- Mapping vendors are encouraged to add AR to their 3D map visualizations.
- Early adopters are advised to examine how AR can bring value to their organization and customers by offering branded information overlays.
So – how can AR deliver context-specific information at the point of need or decision for mobile workers – especially at utilities?
Well, there are a few friends in the industry thinking about this – all on the tech provider side (not utilities).
- Bentley posted a nice analysis of the inhibiting factors that must be solved.
- Pitney-Bowes developers put together an experimental prototype during their Hacker Days this year.
- Patrick Barnhart of GIS Inc. gave a talk at the ESRI Dev Summit this year on the use of Layar with Esri GIS.
Meet me on Google+ for comments on the videos from the above experiments, or to share your own examples.
P.S. I have to wonder whether mobile workforce vendors are asking their GIS service providers where this is headed. I’d like your feedback on whether you think AR could grow wings over the next few years.