As of 2022, even the industry-leading AR headsets are bulky, heavy, and are not suitable to use for an extended duration. This makes sense—fitting a computer, cameras, light projectors, it's even impressive! Given the expansive development and with Moore's Law in mind, I envision the form factor of AR technology becoming way lighter, smaller, more usable, and more comfortable. Whether that be headsets or not! The video below is a very specific example of imagining AR becoming largely commercialized just like smartphones nowadays. What if paying off my credit card doesn't require an app and can be done on what we already physically and tangibly see and feel such as the credit card itself?
Gestures: Hand Tracking 1
One critical advantage of AR headsets over smartphones is that the hands free up. That's more opportunities to use our hand movements and gestures as means to input triggers and operate the extended reality. This idea was inspired by my parents searching the house for their magnifying glasses—using hands to input commands and trigger tools such as a zoom tool or a telescope would save them a lot of time and hassle. There are many opportunities to imagine around modifying the current real-world scenes through simple gestures.
Gestures: Hand Tracking 2
Another fun gesture exploration is thinking about the gestures that are already widely being used in the world. Just like in the video below, making a box with the index fingers touching the thumbs has been accepted as a gesture related to framing scenes and taking pictures. In the assumed future with our free hands, what if we can use this exact gesture to frame a scene that we see and snap a photo of it? Furthermore, what if we can zoom in, resize, or even record a video?
Extensions of Current Technology
I believe the development of a fully commercialized augmented technology won't come in an instant. Rather, I expect implementations and extensions in existing technologies such as a smartphone. But also, what if AR technology pairs and enhances existing technology even after being a fully commercialized technology? The video shows a specific example of expanding a calendar UI beyond a small smartphone screen for enhanced usability and visibility. However, I see chances of AR tech replacing smartphones, so what about microwaves? Fridges, watches, or a seat display in an airplane?
The most common implementation of AR even nowadays in the early developments is overlaying information and interfaces onto the real world. I explored pairing this with Artificial Intelligence. In the video, the cameras capture a number of ingredients and recommend a recipe from the web that incorporates those ingredients. This can be imagined more in areas such as visualizing the literal execution of machine learning, for example, seeing smart speakers taking in words and segmenting my sentences. Possibilities are endless when thinking about the potentials of AR.