Practical uses for augmented reality are still quite scarce. Companies investing in the technology do so for the sake of marketing campaigns or as a feature for next generation games. Japanese telecommunications company DoCoMo, however, wants to change the way people use the technology – by making it a part of their body. While the concept may sound like something out of science-fiction, DoCoMo is actually building a pair of glasses – or, more accurately, a single lens – that will be packed with augmented reality technology.
It has only been in recent years that hardware capable of running high-quality augmented reality programs has been possible. AR is a notoriously demanding technology, a problem that had stunted its growth in the past. Now, however, more companies can afford to build the hardware necessary to run the technology, allowing AR to reach its full potential.
DoCoMo’s invention is a simple lens that is connected to an iPhone or other smart device. The phone uses the lens as a camera so that the physical world can be mapped and digital displays can be superimposed over it. The product is still in testing stages, so it is currently only able to offer wearers directions to local restaurants and retail stores, but the possibilities for the technology are astronomical.
DoCoMo will continue to develop their augmented reality glasses and will begin showing off the technology at a number of conventions next year.