At OARN we focus on Augmented Reality’s present and future. We enjoyed novelty/marketing AR apps when they first appeared, but we’ve quickly gotten over them. We no longer want to download a specific app, then use our smartphone to scan an advertisement, then be sent to a website to view additional advertising.  AR shouldn’t be lots of work for little reward.  If AR is to grow, AR apps will have to be both captivating and easy to use.

Apparently we are not the only ones feeling this way.  In April I received Mobilistar’s Augmented Reality Insights Newsletter , and they echoed many of the sentiments we’ve voiced, but backed these up with numbers:

  • There are 1152 AR Apps in the iTunes App store, yet almost none have gripped the imagination of users.
  • Mobile AR apps are overwhelmingly unpopular with end-users.  In fact only 88 of the 1152 score above 3 stars.

The takeaway, according to Mobilistar, is “innovate, don’t emulate.”

Every new technology has humble beginnings.  We expect lots of experiments, with a few successes, and plenty of failures. That’s how it should be.  But we need to get beyond the ‘let’s try AR’ phase, and take it to the next level.  What would this look like-what AR experience would you like to see?