Augmented Reality, Persuasive Technology — and Some Apps I'd Like to Have

By Michael McCauley I’ve been reading a lot about augmented reality  lately. It seems to be everywhere. Augmented reality — the term was coined by Thomas Caudell in 1990 — is a view of the real environment merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated images. It’s likely that you’ve already experienced augmented reality.  Have you watched a football game recently? That thick yellow first down line that they draw on the field is a simple example of augmented reality. Have you ever driven in a car with a “heads up” display where the speed and other info are projected onto the windshield? That’s another example. More sophisticated applications are currently in production or being developed. For example, there’s an iPhone app which overlays the phone’s camera image with your longitude, latitude, bearing, elevation and angle to the horizon. Another iPhone app uses the camera image and overlays it with information on each nearby bar. Interesting augmented reality apps can be found at   These are so many forms of persuasive technology, each designed to change peoples’ attitudes and behaviors. Could this concept be applied in other ways? I would love to have an app that lists the contents of my file cabinet when I point my phone at it. Or let’s say that you’re a project manager. What about an app that displays the progress, key risks, costs and punch list for a project when you point your camera phone at the construction site? It seems to me that the applications are nearly limitless. How could persuasive technology that employs augmented reality be used in your business?]]>

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