AR is on the verge of transforming the human-computer relationship

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

Source : MICHAEL PARK Photography: Dean Takahashi

The ubiquity of smartphones and 4G networks in the last decade have changed our society and economy in dramatic ways. The most visible way in which society has transformed is that it’s become commonplace to see people staring at tiny 2D screens in their hands while tapping, pinching, and swiping on mobile content.

The rise of augmented reality (AR) will create the next generation of the internet, a 3D spatial medium in which we’ll physically live, work, and interact. As this occurs, human-computer interaction (HCI) will permanently change in three significant ways:

  1. The world we live in will house a 3D internet

  2. The world will become an immersive design workspace

  3. Our identities will become further intertwined with the digital world

It’s clear that the next big thing in consumer and enterprise technology are AR smart glasses that overlay interactive digital 3D objects into the real world. How will our lives change when this becomes the dominant form factor? In this piece, we’ve interviewed several AR entrepreneurs who have identified three core ways in which AR will dramatically change human computer interaction.

The world we live in will house a 3D internet

Since the advent of computing, through the rise of the personal computer, to the dotcom boom, to the launch of the iPhone, we’ve interacted with the internet through flat 2D screens. The internet has traditionally been a digital world we have stared at through little glowing windows.

However, as we move into an augmented reality (AR) 3D internet, the way we interact with computers will permanently change. What will HCI look and feel like when we’re looking at digital objects overlaid in our real world, instead of pixels on a tiny screen? The short answer: It depends on who the user is, the context in which they are using AR, the UX design preferences of the developer, among numerous other factors related to the human sensory experience.

Tony Bevilacqua is the CEO of Cognitive3D, a platform that provides 3D spatial analytics and user feedback tools for virtual and augmented reality. He elaborates on this point: “businesses have traditionally used tools like Google Analytics to track behavior and usage on 2D interfaces like web browsers on smartphones and tablets. In doing so, it’s possible to gain valuable user insights about which parts of the page are most interesting to users, how long they stay on the page, and how frequently they return. However, with AR, we’re moving into an era of technology in which we’ll have to account for an immersive experience in which users are moving around in 3D space and time.”


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