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Top Ten Takeouts: AR - Fad or Future?

Augmented Reality overlays the world we’re experiencing with real time, digital information – travel directions, weather, what’s around you – think Iron Man or Minority Report or yes, that’s right - Google Glasses!

When Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 it made the statement, “we’re making a big bet that AR and VR will become a part of people’s everyday life.” With the Rift headset due to launch in March this year, it’s time to take stock: where is AR now and will it be the next big thing?

In our first event for 2016 we explored: 

  • What exactly is AR and how does it differ from VR?
  • How can AR be applied in industry? Specifically retail, property development, manufacturing, tourism, art and culture
  • How long will it take for consumers to adopt this technology and what are the barriers (expensive hardware, etc)?
  • What are the risks of this type of technology and how can they be overcome, ie privacy?
  • What’s the next big thing in AR?


Mark Bergin - Founder, Design Summit Tour - App Design Awards
Steve Guinness - GM, Plattar
Eleanor Whitworth - Senior Arts Officer, Arts Victoria
Alec Villarreal Wurts - Founder & Director, Augmented Reality Experts (ARE)
Frank Vetere - Professor, Dept of Computing & Information Systems University of Melbourne and Director, Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces
Moderator by Bec Kempster - Chair of the Churchill Club

The Takeouts

  1. Augmentation is anything in the physical world that is extended virtually – by some sort of overlay or digitisation
  2. It’s critical to nail the user experience and the customer experience
  3. Don’t discount the technology when used as a gimmick as it can be an opportunity to introduce it to new audiences
  4. Our phones now also allow us to use AR with other senses – such as audio. As technology and hardware improves, so will the opportunities
  5. We are still in learning phase and will hit areas where using AR is inappropriate or too ahead of our time. We need to be sensitive to this
  6. AR more likely to seep into our world rather than come in with a big bang – it’s here now and we often don’t see it. 
  7. Brands currently taking up the technology are those with either a desire or willingness to spend the money on something that will provide a point of difference
  8. All this will require a new lexicon of gestural commands beyond pinch and zoom
  9. Extreme sci-fi visions are not inevitable and we need to engage in discussion about issues like use, privacy and security. 
  10. If you’re not using AR as part of your tool kit then you’re missing out on a very important tool!