For decades movies like Terminator have been teasing us with glimpses of a future where augmented reality is ubiquitous. (Augmented reality, or AR, is when simulated imagery is superimposed over physical surroundings – like when the cyborg assassin sees a human, and the words “non-combatant” appear over the guy, so said cyborg knows not to toast him.) Various smartphones have started offering clunky AR apps that show you things like restaurant reviews when you point your camera at a store’s facade. But with all the crazy technology already on today’s market, we’re saying that’s not enough!
The following are 6 awesome AR gadgets we think need to come out ASAP:
The AR Windshield
Who needs a GPS unit on their dash when their windshield itself is powered by Garmin? We’re picturing map overlays, turn by turn directional arrows, and street names clearly labeled from far away. No more looking away from the road, and no more confusing intersections and missed turns. We think we’ll never have to hear the words “recalcuating” again!
The AR Door Peephole
When someone knocks on our door, we want to know not only if they look like a murderer, but also their name and age. This could be possible using a facial recognition camera built into the peephole. While we’re at it, why not a quick popup of our visitor’s Facebook profile or their most recent tweet? In an AR world, ain’t nobody taking us by surprise!
(Peephole is a really awkward word, btw.)
The AR Breadcrumb App
Ever get lost in a new city? How about your current one? We have. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to whip out your phone and see a visible trail of where you’ve been? Using the GPS and camera, this should be entirely possible, even with the limited AR tech that’s out now.
The AR Binoculars
The hiker, birdwatcher, and lonely nerd’s best friend, AR binoculars explain to you what you’re seeing. From identifying animal and plant species to measuring distance to objects far away from you, there’s bound to be a myriad of uses for something like this.
The AR Tape Measure
Tape measures are pretty much the biggest pain in the world. Once you extend them more than two feet they fold up and whip you in the face. How about an AR tape measure that takes nanoscopic digital measurements with its camera and saves the numbers for you? Now we’ve got the nerds AND the handymen on board!
The AR Contact Lenses
Why spend every waking moment rushing to your phone or your laptop to check your friends’ statuses when you can have your Twitter feed overlaid on everything you see. That’s where the AR contacts come in. Now you can have your own personal dashboard up at all times! All we need now is a way to plug a USB cable into our brains so we can THINK our status updates instead of typing. (Optional: AR glasses for those with sensitive corneas.)
So, there you have it! Bust out your soldering irons and hit up the nearest hacker space, inventors. We want our Twitter contacts STAT!