Predictions

Below are Think Artificial’s predictions on cutting-edge technologies.

Symbols on their right-hand side indicate status.

Look into the all seeing eye: Icon for a correct prediction An icon for a prediction whose outcome is yet to be seen An icon for a correct prediction

Correct prediction

Undetermined

Wrong prediction


Augmented reality predictions

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live video-stream of a real-world environment whose elements are supplemented with-, or augmented by computer-generated imagery. The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in meaningful context with environmental elements. [Definition by Hrafn Th. Thórisson. Donated to Wikipedia's Augmented Reality article on August 26th, 2009]

The debut of first public consumer augmented reality application

Look into the all-seeing eye.

  1. Prediction on August 13th, 2008: Early 2009, A public consumer augmented reality (AR) Maps application will debut. Google will introduce a Maps-based AR application; possibly one that displays landmark-labels.
  2. Actual event: The Wikitude AR Travel App debuted in October 2008. It’s an AR maps application that displays hovering labels over buildings and landmarks when you point your phone at them. Created by independent developers. It runs on Google Android phones.
  3. Where prediction appeared: Augmented reality app running on iPhone

Official Apple iPhone support for augmented reality

Look into the all-seeing eye.

  1. Prediction on July 13, 2009: Before September 15th 2009, Apple will release initial support to iPhone augmented reality apps—OR—Apple will announce an extension to the the iPhone SDK, specifically intended for augmented reality app development.
  2. Actual turn of events: Announced 11 days after this prediction; Apple’s iPhone OS 3.1 supports augmented reality applications; expected release is in September (as predicted).
  3. Where prediction appeared: Augmented reality on iPhone delayed, but hardly prevented

Year 2009

Initial iPhone development and app popularity

Look into the all-seeing eye.

  1. Prediction on August 28th, 2009: In October 2009 many developers are reported working on augmented reality apps for iPhone. This is partially due to the success of 5 wildly popular apps in the iPhone App Store.
  2. Actual turn of events: Came true. This Google News timeline for 2009 clearly shows that October was the peak in augmented reality reports. In all fairness it can be debated what “wildly popular” means, but the following were referenced in bundles: Layar, Wikitude, Nearest Tube, Cyclopedia & Robotvision. When this is written, now in early December, the app store is absolutely crawling with AR apps.
  3. Where prediction appeared: More predictions and a page to list them


Year 2010

Rise of serious augmented reality apps

Look into the all-seeing eye: This is a prediction whose outcome is yet to be seen.

  1. Prediction on August 28th, 2009: In January, 2010 interest in fluff (useless, silly) applications is declining. Much more powerful, serious AR apps are on the rise.
  2. Where prediction appeared: More predictions and a page to list them


Major stores adopt augmented reality

Look into the all-seeing eye.

  1. Prediction on August 28th, 2009: In January, 2010 the first major store announces mobile AR support; possibly an app that indicates product locations in shelves, or one that shows information about products. There are rumors of at least 3 other stores preparing a launch.
  2. Actual turn of events (written Feb 9th, 2010): Came true. To quote SFGate.com’s article on AR smart phone apps (Jan 2010):

    Companies including Best Buy Inc., Jack in the Box and Puma are already advertising on Loopt, serving up coupons or banners when people near their stores.“[sic]

  3. Where prediction appeared: More predictions and a page to list them


Open-source augmented reality platform

Look into the all-seeing eye.

  1. Prediction on August 28th, 2009: Mid April, 2010 an important open source AR platform standard is introduced.
  2. Actual turn of events (written Dec 8th, 2011): Came true—only it was introduced not in mid April, but in June. Qualcomm announced its vision-based augmented reality platform at Uplinq 2010. To quote TechCrunch’s article on the subject: At Qualcomm’s recent Uplinq conference, they announced their plans to release a free Vision-based AR platform to mobile developers.” Initially developed for Android, their AR SDK is now available for iOS devices as well, royalty-free and community driven.
  3. Where prediction appeared: More predictions and a page to list them


Augmented reality eyewear & head mounted displays

Look into the all-seeing eye: This is a prediction whose outcome is yet to be seen.

  1. Prediction on August 28th, 2009: Early May, 2010 the first specs specifically designed for mainstream, mobile AR are announced. Use of eyewear-screens (head-mounted displays, AR glasses) increasingly popular among young and young adults.
  2. Where prediction appeared: More predictions and a page to list them