Augmented Reality: What It Means For The FuturePosted by On

By Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting

Before the turn of the millennium, augmented reality was only seen in sci-fi movies. While still far from being a house-hold item, the technology continues to improve, and several companies are experimenting with new products with a computer-generated display. Augmented reality comes in the form of head-mounted displays or retinal displays. The most popular and anticipated is Google Glasses, which lets the user take images and videos and view a virtual world through retinal lasers.

The technological advancement is the future for individuals and small businesses looking for the next step in cloud computing.

Head-Mounted Displays versus Retinal Displays

Head-mounted displays are bulky, and they do not offer the extended peripheral vision that a retinal display can offer. Head-mounted displays are used in machinery such as cockpits of planes to train new pilots with the advanced equipment. Head-mounted displays were also popular in the 1990s when Sony introduced its virtual reality gaming headset that worked directly with its MechWarrior franchise.

For cloud computing and the business owner, the most progress will come from retinal displays because they don’t have the bulky hardware required for head-mounted displays.

Google glasses have kicked off the cloud computing potential for a new virtual world that supports business owners. Retinal displays draw images onto the retina of the eye using lasers. The lasers are not focused on one part of the eye, so there is no damage to the user’s vision. The advantage from this type of augmented reality is the lack of bulky headset, so peripheral vision is not limited.

What this Means for Future Technology in the Cloud

The biggest advantage of these devices is the video offered in the cloud. Need to have a video conference on the road? It is pretty far out, but the augmented reality devices let the user see the video and talk to clients and coworkers while on the road. The device is a step up from simple cellular phone calls for traveling businessmen.

Augmented reality devices can also be used for employee interaction. Employees can take images, set up videos and experience an application from the user’s perspective. Obtaining a better user perspective makes the cloud application software developer a better programmer, because the developer can put himself in the user’s position and analyze issues with the application.

Although digital reality is not quite a reality for businesses, the technology opens up several aspects that make communication in the cloud more convenient. The advancements could open up a better way to communicate with clients and coworkers, and create visual enhancements for better application development. And it is pretty freaking cool.


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