"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" -Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Just say no" to Format Wars.

AR is certainly not "new". It has been painstakingly developed , over time, by a multitude of various individuals, and entities. The monetary implications are enormous. Every Archmage and Enchanter in the business wants a piece of the DAL pie. Just a quick glance to your right, to the growing links list, shows how big a battle it *could* be.

The one thing that could hinder the acceptance in the mass consumer market it lack of standardization. Yet another "Format War" (think 'Beta vs. VHS'.) Look at DVD player sales, before the DVD format war was won, ( by Blu-Ray) , sales were a mere trickle (by comparison). The average consumer sat on the sideline, and waited, making no purchases, until it became clear who the standard-bearer would be.

Why would the AR Market be any different? With QR codes, ARTags, tagless AR, ect, all vying for a place in the DAL, we need ourselves a Tower of Babel Standard. a common language for all Archmages and Enchanters to work off of, lest the Witches and Seers "sit on the sidelines" waiting for the AR standard-bearer to rise. The World Wide Web is viewable in a number of competing browsers, why should AR be any different? You can view AR through almost any smartphone, not just an iPhone. A varied field of competitors in any aspect of AR will be for the betterment of AR, (in the end), but we have to have all competitors agree to race on the same track, by the same rules, speaking the same language. Sort of an AR Olympics, I guess.

For one thing, it really should be an open-source standard. You give any one (or select group)of Archmages or Enchanters sole possession of the AR keys to the Digital Kingdom, and viola! You have the next Microsoft, or Apple: A large, corporate behemoth that will decide, for us, what we want, and how we want to implement it.

AT the moment, commercial momentum seems to be swinging in favor of Total Immersion, and it has a proposed course to standardize the experience of augmented reality , the AR PLUS logo:

Is this a step forward for all, or just a few? Time will tell.

Go, and see.

Stay Augmented.

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