I have a secret.
I know the future.
Its augmented reality. Really, it is. Its been forecasted for years. If you’re on the pulse you’ve seen it as an artifact in science fiction- either read about it and imagined it or more consumed its articulated manifestation in movies, TV shows, or my favorite medium of future casting, Japanese animation.
Seriously, AR is coming for you, for us all.
Apple is hard at work at doing what few of us really do- lay the foundation for a trillion dollar impact. Too many of us are thinking and playing the short game. When you have billions what do you do? Build the next world where everything rests.
Funny thing is Apple is always one of the bigger players that is rarely first but is always the last word. They weren’t first at phones, not even computer touch phones, or at techno ecosystems, or computers, but they do know you and me pretty well and they like to be the last word.
So while AR has been demo and dabbled with but a dozen or so efforts around the globe, Apple will tell you where it really is, how it should be, and you’ll bank your future on it. Why? Cause its foundation is going to be exhaustively solid. Not at the start, they too listen to their own model of influence, ie you me and every developer and dreamer on the planet. We’ll tell them what the future should be, and we’ll use their tools and their foundation to build it.
So how do we prepare for this onset of amazing’ness? Well, sharpen your skills with the tool kits- Unity for starters and then dabble in the frameworks of experience currently surrounding AR, most notably Magic Leap, and yes thats Google but they rarely the last word. They are merely the “Android” or “other” offer attempting to beat Apple to the punch. But we know how Google fares in the long game. Billions spent on innovation, and can we count the number of things Google has started and shelved, lots, and where does 95% of its revenue derived from? Search. That hasn’t changed, ads, they make their money on ads. Thats it. Despite the directions they take in R&D it never seems to change?
Why is that?
Do we all place the key of hope in a few select brands to tell us where next is? Yeah, kinda.
That’s my theory.
So what else can we do to prepare? Get familiar, immerse yourself into the visionary minds that created AR like worlds.
A few of my favorite shows to watch.
Wild Palms, this short mini series is many things. AR, drug induced AR with touch effects, conspiracy, piracy, cheesy, sure, but future forecasting wise its one of the most relevant to me. I see the Wild Palms happening. I see the show they have in there aka “Church Windows” to be real, that will happen, I know. Will touch or feel enabled AR happen? Likely. Will it be thru some drug aspect, not at first, but in a dozen years after AR arrives mainstream, yes. The problem with Wild Palms is that today you need to either find it via Youtube or get the DVD both of which are hard, but this is a classic AR foundation for next.
Dennou Coil, this anime from 2007 is being watched by every AR engineer on the planet. This show lays down the foundation for what Wired Magazine’s most recent issue “mirror worlds” will be like. The layer is basically my term for the augmented data layer on top of the GPS layer of our lives. In your approx geo location space is a whole other world, you merely need the lens and you see. What’s interesting is Denno Coil’s world of AR enabled reality is slated to happen in 2026, which is about right if we look at how things are happening? Think about it. The story for this anime as likely conceptualized and dreamed up in 2000 and then animators made it into a show. And those creative people basically predict the future with exceedingly imagine accuracy.
This is why we all need to dream and doodle, and execute our dreams more often. Denno Coil will happen, and it will be awesome, and scary but mostly awesome.
Next you snack on some Keiichi Matsuda, this guy is the living legend of AR hyper reality forecasting. He imagines and produces these fantastic projections of an AR future that yep, will happen. His work is fantastic, follow him.
Other notable flicks to see:
Strange Days (this is kinda happening now with AR/VR) there are whole companies cataloging human experiences, capturing them in VR video, allowing you to immerse yourself.
Aon on Netflix shows us not only augmented reality like aspects but also how the hackery of AR will be like, ie, we can make reality, and erase reality. We kinda see the bleeding edge of this today with things like “This person does not exist.” an AI hack that generates fake people. Now you may think so what? But shows like Ghost in Shell had an antagonist known as the Laughing Man who basically was wickedly good at erasing himself from every camera system in the worlds reality. He would commit his crime and remove himself from the reality archive. Aon does this as well, takes it further, editing your mind. The more we connect to the net, the more we’re subject to its rules or how they can be broken.
Go be a part of what’s next- dream up your AR future and learn iOS because its gonna happen there and it will be insanely massive when it all hits. Apple isn’t just bolting this on to iOS, they are dreaming up a whole new operating system. Get ahead of it, get into it, have fun!