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Can augmented reality actually become a part of our lives? A new product from Google may impact the adoption of augmented reality, for better or worse.
Jay: Augmented reality beats virtual reality. Hey, it’s Jay. This is another episode of Jay Today brought to you by Emma. Get more from your email marketing. Go to MyEmma.com.
Look, virtual reality is all the rage, and there’s lots of talk about headsets, and you can do all these great things and go to different worlds and it’s fantastic, it’s immersive, it’s powerful. But it has limited use cases because for now and for the foreseeable future, to get a true virtual reality experience, you have to have something on your face. And you can’t be driving a car or walking around with these goggles on your face and live your life. And so virtual reality is amazing, but there’s a time and a place for it.
Augmented reality, done well, can be part of our life. It can be integrated into our lives in a seamless and really interesting way. It’s just that so far, the use cases for augmented reality have been somewhat frivolous. Probably the best-known example is Pokémon Go which took over the entire planet for about 10 minutes, but it showed what’s possible in an augmented reality environment through a smartphone.
But now our friends at Google are bringing out a new version of augmented reality which could really be a game-changer. Last week at their developers conference, they showed off the new Google Lens. The way it works is you point your camera phone at something, and then Google tells you information about that thing. For example, its ratings and reviews. Look at this. Pretty slick right? Why would you need to go to Yelp or anywhere else if you can just point your camera phone at a restaurant and Google will automatically tell you what the ratings and reviews are for that restaurant?
Think about from a tourism perspective. I’m going on vacation pretty soon overseas, and we’re hiring a guide to take us around ’cause it’s a kind of far-flung location. But imagine if you didn’t need a guide. Imagine if you just held your phone out at all these different places, and Google would tell you information about the building, about the museum, about the artwork, about the whatever, just based on the information that that has in its database. Augmented reality with Google Lens, which is gonna be built into the new Google Assistant, which is the Siri-killer that Google has developed and is developing even further, that kind of augmented reality which makes your life better, smarter, faster, more seamless has a massive, massive chance to be transformative in ways that we can’t even think of today.
We’ve spent a lot of time in the last year talking about voice activation, right? Whether it’s Amazon’s Echo or Google Home, and those devices are fantastic. I’ve had one since the first day they went on sale. And they do more and more and more and more. In fact, IKEA just announced today that they’re rolling out some Alexa-powered light bulbs that don’t even require an app. You just say, “Dim the lights,” and the lights dim. It’s great, but you still have to have an input device, which is your voice. If you just hold your camera phone out and you don’t have to say, “Alexa, tell me about this museum,” you just point at the museum and the information comes to you, now we’re really talking about something that could be transformative in ways that we really haven’t even pondered yet.
So I believe that augmented reality is going to be way more important than virtual reality, ultimately, and Google Lens is just the next step in that process. Let me know what you think, would love to hear your comments below. That’s it for this episode of Jay Today. Heading out on the road for a couple of days. I will see you next week.