Many people enter the inside-out world of augmented reality (AR) by doing something as ordinary as visiting a major city like New York and trying to get to a local friend’s favorite pizza shop, somewhere deep in Brooklyn, via public transportation. Standing in Times Square on a summer evening, they might hold up a new smart phone and pan it slowly around the Square to see a pointer to the nearest subway entrance overlaid on their phone’s video display of the buildings around them.
While ubiquitous computing remains an unpleasant mouthful of techno-babble to most people who know the term, and everyware is still an essentially unknown idea, the visibility of augmented reality has surged in the last twelve months. In addition to the spate of mobile applications—including Augmented ID, Wikitude, Layar, Nearest Tube, and the still unreleased TwittARound—augmented reality is increasingly visible in popular cross-media experiences. For example, Mattel is releasing new toys in conjunction with the James Cameron film Avatar that invoke online content when users scan them with a Web cam, and LEGO in-store kiosks have used augmented reality. With baseball cards from Topps and Pokemon cards, even the venerable trading-cards experience now includes augmented reality. Read More
“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”—Mark Weiser 
Welcome to the inaugural installment of “Everyware: Designing the Ubiquitous Experience,” a column exploring user experience and design in the era of ubiquitous computing. Through this column, interested readers can investigate the expanding wavefront of the ubiquitous experience as it impacts design, covering topics ranging from ubiquitous computing to near-field communication, pervasive computing, The Internet of Things, spimes, ubicomp, locative media, and ambient informatics.
Everyware is the term coined by designer and futurist Adam Greenfield to describe “a vision of processing power so distributed throughout the environment that computers per se effectively disappear.”  The realization of the future that Greenfield envisions will mean fundamental changes to nearly every aspect of our lives. Read More
As the recent launches of Google Goggles (see Figure 1), Bing Maps (see Figure 2), Junaio, and the Unifeye SDK have demonstrated, technical barriers to delivering augmented reality (AR) experiences on a broad scale are falling rapidly. Separate advances in technologies for practical and commercial-scale, cloud-based speech and language processing; real-time search; computer vision; accurate geolocation and device awareness; AR commerce and development platforms; as well as high-bandwidth, sensor-enhanced mobile devices are coming together to form a first-generation infrastructure for augmented reality. Read More