Word of the Week: Augmented reality
Augmented reality – In keeping with the theme of social media trends for 2010, this week’s entry will discuss augmented reality. Augmented reality (AR), simply defined, is the combination of a real-world environment with something virtual. Perhaps the most commonly known example of AR in American culture is the yellow line that marks a first down for viewers watching football on TV. When it comes to social media, the use of AR is a bit more exciting. The primary purpose is to enhance the experience of users of social media applications on their mobile devices. Using various features of their smartphones such as the camera, compass, GPS, etc., AR apps allow users to find out who is Twittering around them and what they are saying, find the nearest subway station, use facial recognition technology to bring up a person’s online profile and contact information, and pull up information from Wikipedia about the scene on the screen. As iPhones and other smartphones continue to become daily lifelines for more and more people, look for augmented reality applications to become the norm for information gathering and social communication.