17. AR – More Real Than Real Life

You have arrived at your destination. Words you hear in over half of cars on the UK roads, and popular all around the world, spoken by the ever celebrated (but sometimes wrong) satellite navigation system. But how long before you are using augmented reality (AR) to help you get from A to B?

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AR is the inclusion of technology within your real-world experience – meaning if you use a dashboard or built-in sat nav system in your car, you are already using augmented reality more often than you may realise. Either by viewing a little screen with step-by-step travel instructions, to experiencing your world through a smartphone whilst you attempt to catch Pokémon, viewing your world with the aid of technology is a phenomenon that is likely to become more implicit in our every day lives.

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But how will this technological intervention help change how we see our world? What future problems will we be able to negate with the aid of augmented reality? Will Police be able to use AR to chase criminals? This is the idea in the 2002 cyber punk mystery-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg, whereby the future crime division of the police have the capability to witness crimes that have not yet happened, allowing them to stop criminal action before it begins. The movie is filled with lots of futuristic technologies including the use of augmented reality, but how far from current technology is AR? Are we still decades away or is the movie closer to home than we might think?

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