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Believability and Persistence in AR

There are two important concepts arriving in smartphone AR technology at the moment: believability, and persistence.

Believability comes from digital and physical objects appearing to naturally occupy a space together: for example, if you move a physical object in front of a digital object, the digital one should appear to be partly obscured. In AR parlance this is occlusion, or blending.

You can see the advantage of blending in the two photos at the top of this post: in the photo on the left I’ve disabled blending so the image of the goat appears in front of the table, flattening the depth in the picture; in the second, blending is enabled so the goat appears occluded by the table, as you’d naturally expect it to be; it’s believable.

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Digital Counterfeits

Some Burberry products are showing up with high-quality 3D models in Google search results. Burberry is, as far as I know, the first brand in the UK to take advantage of the AR search feature that Google announced back in May last year. You can see an example of how it works in the video below.

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Trends in Consumer Digital Technology for 2019

For the past few years I’ve got into the habit of starting the new year with an article consolidating my thoughts on where we’re at with consumer digital technology; looking at the landscape, and at what the biggest players are doing—my focus is mostly on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, but it’s not exclusively on them. I want to tease out a few trends to help orient myself in my role for the year ahead. I try not to make predictions, but perhaps play out some possibilities.

There are two big declines at the core of this year’s trends, which I think set the tone for where consumer tech might head in 2019. They are the smartphone decline, and the Facebook decline.