Are we ready for augmented reality culture?

Major advances in technology have always integrated with our culture, and one need only look back at personal computers and cellphones to see evidence of the trend. A number of new technologies are competing for the next spot in our lives, promising substantial enhancements.

Augmented reality could very well integrate itself within our culture, but the question is, are we ready for it?

The past year has seen augmented reality grow from an unproven concept to a technology that offers tangible benefits over smartphones and other mobile devices. In place of taking out a cellphone to answer calls or capture a photo, a pair of glasses can handle the task.

In addition, web content can be displayed directly in the corner of a user’s field of vision, allowing email and web pages to read while running or standing on a train.

The other enhancements the technology brings are certainly impressive, with the ability to have directions overlaid in front of a user helping to save time locating cafes or shops.

Privacy forms a significant barrier to mass adoption of the technology, as video recording simple and discreet. In many areas where technologies like Google Glass are being used, bars and shops have banned use of it. This is only set to continue as the technology grows – and understandably too.

It’s a possibility the technology will see widespread integration, though not without restrictions. As it is with cellphones now, using augmented reality devices while driving is likely to be banned. Possibly, use in certain shops and public locations will have similar rules.

There’s no denying augmented reality devices in their current form are a slightly cumbersome and obvious device, and as such it’s quite obvious when they’re being used. Shrinking internal components will bring the size down, meaning distinguishing them from sunglasses could soon be difficult.

While the benefits will mean a jump from cellphones is inevitable for many, others may refrain in a bid to ensure some semblance of privacy.

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