Smartphones - for now the iPhone 3GS and various Android models - have done away with the need for large backpacks and heads-up displays. If you want an instant clue as to what I'm talking about watch this YouTube video for a glimpse or this one from the last eComm show.
AR represents a brand new media type and a new type of user interfaces; the significance of which is on with par with the the first hypertext web browser or the introduction of the digital cellular phone. In fact some might wish to go as far as saying that it's a brand new medium on par with radio, television and the Internet; one which takes computers out of their separate modality and into our lives.
AR will become a social necessity when it becomes a conduit for augmenting communications between people - rather than just being for information services. It will define a new interactive relationship between mobile users as well as their surroundings. It will take us away from the idea of "digital" or "online" being a distinct or separate medium. As such the decade 2010-2020 offers unprecedented opportunities for the first entrants.
It was for this reason that mobile augmented reality was set as a major topic for the forthcoming Emerging Communications Conference & Awards. But the level of interest has been beyond unprecedented. So much so that day three of the conference will now be dedicated to the topic and there was so much interest that day three is now completely full of short presentations and it's been turned into a 12 hour day! This will be a special eComm indeed!
I'm also particularly honoured to announce that the lead-engineer for Google Goggles (Hartmut Neven) will open the special AR day with a very interesting keynote - to be announced closer to the date! I do expect this to attract major press.
In light of the above, I sincerely believe its a must attend for venture capitalists; AR technologists and visionaries; branding and marketing experts; mobile operators; handset manufacturers; smartphone developers; technology strategists; entrepreneurs; and anybody else serious about knowing ahead of others what's next in telecom, mobile and Internet communications, and profiting from it.
In case I was not clear enough - this is going to be BIG. What we need to do is to seed the communications innovation community that eComm represents with those who have been pioneering AR (particularly on smartphones) and the venture capital community. If you can help do get in touch, otherwise please do spread the word as I believe the opportunity is so immense that all of us who get in early, can benefit even if our companies have never looked towards AR before - in fact 99% will not have.