I just saw a post on TechCrunch which talked about Total Immersions $5.5 million deal with Intel for their augmented reality platform. Certainly the augmented reality/3D LCD manufacturers and businesses are really trying to push demand for these cutting edge technologies. Everyone saw it over the holiday season with the big push for 3D television etc.
Because these technologies currently run more than many consumers may be willing to pay (at least what I am personally willing to pay–and I’m certainly unlike many standard consumers), I feel there are more out-of-home applications for augmented reality and 3D than there are for placing such technologies in every single living room–at least for now. Until they are able to be taken to the masses ( which who knows…that complete adoption may take less time than I think), where will they go. Retail, hospitality, advertising that is where. In fact, when I first got into this industry about five years ago now, 3D was the cutting edge for digital signage and out of home. It was ultra expensive, about on par with the initial LCD televisions when they came out 10/15 years ago. I think the numbers I remember discussing were above $10,000. Of course, the salesmen for such devices were awash–talking about the return on investment for them–yada yada.
With hardware prices decreasing as they always do, where does augmented reality go. Gamification and other interactive features are certainly going to be the next natural place to use such devices. McDonald’s and other restaurants will certainly have them. Maybe an interactive 3D augmented reality game in the “PlayPlace” with Ronald. That’d certainly give them the wow factor, especially now that they and Burger King have installed their own digital menu boards.
Perhaps, standard retail stores will simply use augmented reality 3D displays for giving customers a reason to interact with their products much like Legos did: