Taking Augmented Reality Mainstream

Augmented Reality will go consumer mainstream when it adds real (non-gimmick / non-gaming) tangible value in the day-to-day context of people’s lives.

The low-hanging-fruit is face recognition — face recognition of pre-existing relationships.

The resistance to face recognition is cultural. People hear “face recognition” and assume either “police state” (too late, if you live in a high density urban environment in a first world country, face recognition across state controlled surveillance is already here), or boogie-man / straw-man fear of stalkers and loss of anonymity in the crowd.

The real value add to face recognition is not for strangers but existing relationships.

Dunbar’s Number says the average person’s ability to remember names and associate them with relationships caps at about 150 people. This cognitive function also one of the first to decline with age.

Social media has itself become an augmentation of relationship memory.

Facebook has set good precedent in face recognition within photo albums. People are only identified from within your existing network. Similar implementation will also succeed in AR.

For business and social spheres is a true superpower. Among the elderly, it is cognitive regeneration through memory augmentation.

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