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Waiting by the Lake

The waiting is the hardest part. Specifically, waiting on the emergence of consumer augmented reality services and the necessary buildout of the infrastructure to support it. This includes all the data gathering every single pinpoint location an AR subscriber might find him or herself (a process well underway by Google, Amazon and Microsoft for reasons they don't really explain that well). The networks have to be there, but that is not really any kind of intuitive leap. Same networks, just wireless, pervasive, and much faster. The 'cell phone' has to be there as well, but the clamshell and candy bar form factors are gone. Now it's a pair of eyeglasses that presents the wearer with a metadata overlay on top of the real world -- to show off all the items of interest, pop-up e-mails, stock tickers, mobile TV, and on and on.

Of course, these glasses can switch from see-through augmented reality to occluded virtual reality with the press of a button or speaking the key phrase. Virtual reality environments will be realistic, detailed and convincing. Lots of entertainment, communication and business possiblities for VR include distribution of the workforce and decentralization of corporate headquarters on a wide scale, as well as the more obvious porno, gambling and videogaming opportunities.

But, timing is everything, as ever. The challenge is to wait it out on the emergence of AR/VR and hope that the cost of missing out on what may be more immediate opportunities isn't too much to bear. Pinning one's financial future on the arrival an augmented reality infrastructure that is probably only considered by the fringe group known as 'futurists', is a little disconcerting. You have to have a whole lot of belief in yourself and in the people whose visions you are intellectually aligned with.

But it is easy to see that AR is already coming to both the military and the space exploration markets:
Military Apps Drive Simulation Tools
AI Developed for Mars Explorers

So just like any bleeding edge technology, it starts with the government/military and works its way down to the rest of us. Sometimes it's hard to sit and wait though, even when you're pretty darn sure you know what you're doing.


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