Media Hype Could Permanently Damage Augmented Reality

6a00d8341bf7f753ef01157203c76e970b-800wi The media appears quite smitten with augmented reality technology, the webcam-based tool that allows graphical, interactive overlays to be placed over most objects sporting a special bar code.

The problem is, excessive media hype could end up damaging augmented reality's much-needed development, turning a possibly great future product into a barely useful current one.

Let's look at why augmented reality is a promising technology almost certain to underwhelm, especially after the hype treatment heaped on its promise by the mainstream medi


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Could Standardizing Virtual Worlds Turn Off Consumers?

3059934552_c9b5be27d9 One of the major impediments to widespread use of virtual worlds is standardization. What virtual worlds need for mainstream success, the theory goes, is unification across platforms.

One article argues that this means the ability to carry one avatar between worlds.

Pixels and Policy takes a look at why consumers may not stomach the shift.

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ComputerWorld, Consumers, and the Uncertain Future of Augmented Reality

Ever since Augmented Reality hit the mainstream, it seems like every sector of the consumer market is rushing to develop the next major "Augmented Reality capable" technology. Eagle-eyed consumers have been bombarded with everything from pop-culture magazines rendered in augmented animation to the music industry developing interactive AR albums.

Pixels and Policy has always been wary about the proposed miracle of Augmented Reality, even as we cautiously hope for its continued development and fine-tuning. If some recent articles from across the media are any indication, our skepticism about Augmented Reality is becoming a new fad.

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Retail Outlets Jump Into the iPhone’s Augmented Reality

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Helping you find your latté

On the off chance you've ever had trouble finding a Starbucks – perhaps somewhere in the middle of Death Valley – now you can point your iPhone down the street and get instant directions to the nearest $5 cup of coffee.

Papa John's Pizza is also getting in on the augmented reality fun through a lucrative sponsorship of the iPhone's latest augmented offering: WorldSurfer by GeoVector.

Point your iPhone in any direction, so the idea goes, and the built in GPS will tell you where the nearest undercooked slice of dough is.

GeoVector and other augmented reality companies are making a lot of dough by catering to Big Pizza. Find out why augmented reality will make sating your lust for chicken wings easier than ever before.

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Augmented Reality Hits a Snag: Layar iPhone App Pulled from App Store

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Back in September we voiced concerns that media hype from around the globe might be putting too much pressure on companies specializing in augmented reality technology. Our fear? That they'd push out inferior products to take advantage of consumer and media hype.

Our concerns were valid, as a recent report from ReadWriteWeb notes that the popular augmented reality iPhone app "Layar" has been pulled from the App Store by its development team. Pixels and Policy reports.

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Augmented Reality Hits the Consumer Market

Augmented reality may be finding a consumer purpose sooner than we predicted.

Between rumblings from independent developer David J. Hinson about a new iPhone augmented reality app and big announcements from Starbucks and Papa John's, the future of augmented reality might be pizzas and cheap gasoline.

Pixels and Policy investigates the rise of consumer Augmented Reality.

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Augmented Reality Comes to Interactive Gaming

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We've reported on how augmented reality has the potential to increase our efficiency and make us smarter consumers, but there's been precious little about how data overlays can make our lives more fun.

DigitalBeat has a great story on how one augmented reality company is turning the world around you into the biggest online game ever.

Pixels and Policy investigates.

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Augmented Reality Contacts Offer Consumers Enhanced Vision

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In the near future, consumers around the world could take a look at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and see a lot more than the White House.

Perhaps they'll skim through a drop-down list of every American President, or maybe they'll skim the most recent legislation signed by the President.

Pixels and Policy takes a look at a new report by CNET outlining a brave new world for augmented reality.

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Examining the Economics of Augmented Reality

Arthur2 A reader submitted an interesting article from the tech blog Vision Mobile. In the article, Andreas Constantinou discusses the unique economies created by augmented reality and virtual worlds with an eye towards the future.

But is Constantinou overly optimistic about the transformative power of augmented reality?

Pixels and Policy takes a look at how augmented reality and virtual economics can grow alongside the real-world economy.

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Our Most Shared Posts From Last Week

Last week was a great one for Pixels and Policy. Some of our articles found their way onto other websites and even into a press release! Now we're sharing our top five most networked articles from last week!

1. Media Hype Could Permanently Damage Augmented Reality

Excessive hype could end up hurting augmented reality's development. Instead of refining and optimizing augmented reality, developers may rush out subpar, buggy products to meet spiking public interest in the complicated technology. That would be a shame, as augmented reality could be a truly revoltionary technology.

2. Unattractive Avatars Promote Negative Self Images


According to the University of Texas study, an ugly avatar might result not only in social isolation in-world, but the unattractive appearance of a player's avatar could bleed over into the player's perception of themselves.


3. Zynga's Virtual Currency System Comes Under Heavy Fire

Investigative blog Techdirt and Mike Arrington of TechCrunch took Zynga to task for drawing a huge revenue stream from what they argued are questionable contracts, intensive marketing to children, and developer-created scarcity.

4. New York Educators Discuss Virtual Worlds as Teaching Tools

New York's 2009 Technology Summit sought to change public education's noted hesitance towards the virtual world by bringing together educators, industry experts and virtual world users in one student-focused brainstorming session, nothing the "increasingly fundamental role" technologies like virtual worlds play in students' lives.

5. Real-World Companies Shift Course in Metaverse Marketing

A corporate presence in Second Life needn't be all bad, especially if companies began to shift from their current position to one that encourages the creation of unique events and content, and promotes a more respectful advertising strategy to potential virtual customers.