I love watching new augmented reality concept videos. It seems like all of the cool kids have one these days. While these are fantastic at communicating the potential of augmented reality (including perceptual computing, mixed reality, virtual reality, sensor fusion, and much more), these videos are a little problematic.
First, they are setting unrealistic expectations from the consumers that are watching them, and I'm willing to bet fooling potential investors and venture capitalists that are looking at funding these companies.
These videos are sometimes used as marketing pieces, and for the common man who doesn't know better, it looks like this is what the company is developing, when the reality couldn't be farther.
It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that very little thought is being given to the technical elements required for these experiences or any consideration at all for design challenges, particularly around areas like user interface, cognitive overload, information visualization, and much more. Have you noticed that there is a good amount of mind-reading in half of these videos, not to mention context driven experiences that would probably require a quantum computer or two to actually pull off?
At least make it clear that your concept video is a work of fiction and be sure to pair it with actual videos of what your product or tech actually does, or what you expect it to do within a reasonable amount of time, maybe not more than a year or so.
Here are a few examples, good and bad.
- Microsoft 2019
- Nokia World Mixed Reality
- Sight by Sight Systems
- HP's Roku's Reward (One of my favorites actually, and pretty doable for the most part)
- Meta's Augmented Reality Glasses
There is sooo much that is misleading about some of these, it is almost embarrassing.