We’ve been reading a lot lately about Augmented Reality as the next big thing. The pending launch of Google Glasses has amped up an exciting discussing that has been going on for years. Blaise Aguera y Arcas demo-ed augmented reality maps at TED in 2010. My friend Anselm Hook, an important mentor at the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, and a very smart guy who has taught me most of what I know about AR said in 2011, “where maps fail, AR will succeed.”
Anselm talks about AR as a zero interface click to reality, a near-field view where the data that is showing up is actually the most important data, the data that could be the difference between life and death. I’ve posted his talk below. At the Producers Institute, Anselm helped documentary filmmakers develop a few AR projects that were really breaking new ground for nonfiction storytellers. AXS Map is a project by Jason Da Silva (Sundance 2013) that incorporated AR into a mobile disability app. Finding Sacred Ground tells the story of indigenous culture using video, audio, photography and augmented reality to reveal a hidden history.
AR often feels to me like past, present and future in the same moment. We are at the brink of another big change, and there are deep implications for documentary storytelling and journalism embedded here.
More to come on this in the coming weeks – and as soon as I can get my hands on some goggles.