AR is one of the next big things we've been told for many years now. We've seen small pockets of activity that have caught on and gone mainstream, think Pokemon Go. We've also seen activities gone bad too, think Google Glass. However, with all of this good and bad comes hope and opportunity.
AR has for many years been exciting, it has allowed creative people to dream about how this technology can change the user experience by changing what the user is seeing and make the world a better place, in theory. But user experience is not just about sight and we can augment the experience through other sensors and sometimes give a very different reality.
What Bose has launched at SXSW is a interesting play and an exciting take on AR. We are a society that is connected in many ways and the audio industry is as connected to us more than any. If you consider your day to day and use of audio and start to imagine what augmenting that experience will look like then all of a sudden you can actually see how this might work out. It's a very interesting direction for Bose but also the number of organisations they are working with like Strava or TripAdvisor. I can see both of these use cases making sense where audio AR is adding value to my world as I am out for my daily run or as I am touring around cities i've not been to before.
The gesture control is an interesting play and I look forward to experiencing the UI and how natural it might be. I can see a world where VUI is combined and all of a sudden you are combining the best features from a Voice Assistant to create the perfect companion AR experience.
It's great to see the likes of Bose stepping out of their traditional business model and using their $50 million venture fund for a very exciting future.
Beyond listening to music, the Bose AR sunglasses know what you're looking at without using any camera. On a walking tour outside of its SXSW activation, Bose showed me how to get audio information simply by looking at a bar or landmark and then double-tapping either the left or right stem. Bose says its AR glasses use on-board motion sensors that can detect precisely which direction you're facing, working with GPS coordinates from a paired smartphone to essentially "see" where the glasses are facing.