Augmented Reality and Assisted Reality on Gartner's Hype Cycle

  •  by Ash Eldritch

    Gartner’s famous Hype Cycle for Augmented Reality was recently the subject of analysis in a blog post by Christine Perey in the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance blog. She brings up several good points, including her concern about Augmented Reality appearing as a single point on the Gartner 2015 Hype Cycle, arguing that this “suggests that Augmented Reality is one technology. I don’t think this was ever the case in the past and it certainly isn’t today.”

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    While there’s no perfect way to define the technologies and subtle (or not so subtle) shifts in mindsets that reflect the state of augmented reality adoption, I’m always impressed by how prescient the Hype Cycle often is. But Christine is right – AR is progressing through the convergence of many complimentary technologies, from novel forms of human interaction such as gesture control and natural language processing, to wearable electronics, to machine learning and the Internet of Things. Over the next years and decades, more–and more esoteric–technologies will be integrated to create astonishingly powerful tools for augmented human capabilities. (More on that in a future post!)

    For all the talk about AR, and its more immersive cousin Virtual Reality, I’d argue that enterprises serious about realizing immediate real-world benefits of SmartGlasses for their manufacturing and field service operations should look at what I call Assisted Reality. Assisted Reality leverages SmartGlasses for displaying contextually relevant information, for documenting work completed, and for allowing remote collaboration via telepresence. Assisted Reality sits ahead of AR on the Hype Curve, already on the “Slope of Enlightenment”. Rather than projecting “holograms” that visually merge with real-world objects, with Assisted Reality information hovers within the wearer’s field of view – essentially an advanced form of heads-up display, and we often refer to it as “2.5D” rather than “3D.”

    Agree, disagree? Share your thoughts! We look forward to continuing this conversation.