Nintendo Wii, Apple iPhone: making Augmented Reality real

“Augmented Reality is the overlapping of digital information and physical environment. Sci-Fi has often portrayed A.R. as interactive floating transparent computer screens projected into the air, or perhaps the most absolute example: standing inside an entirely computer generated world,” Kroc writes for OSNews.

“The Nintendo Wii represents the first successful ‘3D’ interface with a computer. It is not simply a matter of X, Y & Z.; The Wii also understands acceleration, force, tilt and roll. What this gives us, is a wide and natural range of gestures for input, something the mouse is unable to express,” Kroc writes.

Kroc writes, “The Apple iPhone also represents a disruptive innovation in the market, bringing A.R. to user. You can interact with your data by touching it; it has made every handset since the invention of the mobile phone suddenly look positively stone-age.”

“As we’ve seen with the Wii and the iPhone, new operating systems [User Interfaces] need to be developed to make A.R. a reality. The PC industry will not move on if companies are not prepared to ditch the mouse fully. Within 10 years time, the 2D desktop will look as stone-age as using punch-cards. Companies who only make half-baked attempts at ditching the mouse will be eventually ditched by consumers,” Kroc writes.

Full article here.

Related articles:
Why Apple’s iPhone is a radical, disruptive product – March 01, 2007
iPhone debuts third-generation PC user interface: Apple’s Steve Jobs changes the world – again – February 20, 2007
Microsoft caught off-guard, beaten badly by Apple’s iPhone innovations – February 13, 2007
Apple’s iPhone UI is ‘visceral, life-like, fluid, alive’ – January 25, 2007
PC Magazine hands-on test of Apple iPhone: multi-touch UI ‘takes the breath away’ – January 11, 2007
ZDNet: Hands on with Apple’s iPhone: ‘elegant, ravishing, simple, sleek; impeccable & intuitive UI’ – January 11, 2007

PC Magazine Editor’s Choice: Nintendo Wii is ‘fun, engaging, wildly innovative’ – November 14, 2006
Nintendo’s Wii steals show at Electronic Entertainment Expo – May 12, 2006


  1. No doubt Apple will be one of the leaders when that becomes reality. They may have introduced the world to the mouse, but I’m sure they can introduce the world to something else for input when the time comes.

  2. I think multi touch is the secret feature of Leopard. I think that is why we didn’t get updates to iLife, iWork, and I think that is why Adobe hasn’t come out with CS3 yet. They will all work on the new multi-touch interface. I also think that is why Apple opened retail stores and is offering pro-care cards with up to 52 hours of one on one training per year for only $99. We will all need to learn the new interface for it to be widely adopted.

  3. Complete nonsense. A touch screen makes sense for a handheld device, but it is completely idiotic for a desktop or laptop machine.

    The mouse serves a useful purpose and is much more ergonomical than a touch screen would be for non-handhelds.

  4. “and  did it first … !”

    Actually, I had this very idea 14 years ago as my Industrial Design senior thesis.
    I called it visual experience enhancement.

    Maybe I didn’t do it, but the whole concept of augmented reality seemed like a no brainer to me considering the coming digital age. Overlapping information over the real environment using advanced visual displays, and GPS data. I even conceived of tilt and roll to determine the direction the viewer was facing and angle of head tilt.

    Sadly, the idiots who graded my thesis said it was a bad idea and could never be developed.

  5. My prediction~

    Leopard will not be fully multi-touch. Physics will be a huge part of Leopard, and core animation will drive absolutely everything.

    There will be an option for people to buy a multi-touch screen, but it’ll be specialized and only for specialized tasks. Leopard will also have a far-advanced voice functionality. Much more than what we’ve seen so far.

    The next OS after Leopard will not be OSX 10.6, but OS11. It will have core multi-touch (on top of the core audio, core image, core animation).

    That is when the revolution will truly begin. It will use all of the advanced physics that Leopard will bring, and the advanced voice activations, but will make multi-touch universal to all applications. It’ll take 18 to 24 months to figure out how to do that in a way that will make people wonder how they lived without it, even for apps that people now think are multi-touch proof (as in, ‘multi-touch wouldn’t help’).

    While I’m predicting, I’d say that Leopard will debut with a whole new generation of mice, too. (Notice that above I wrote “Leopard will not be fully multi-touch.” It will be partially multitouch.) The new mice will not have roller balls. Actually they probably won’t even be called mice.

    Essentially they’ll be laptop track pads. You’ll direct your mouse with your finger and you’ll use multi-touch motions. This will be different than the fully multi-touch OS11 in that OS11 will have multi-touch working directly on the screen.

    Laptops will have screens on top and bottom. Desktops will have wireless “slates” that will be screens you carry around and work direcly on, as in an actual notebook.

    Of course it’ll all be so patented that no one will be able to compete. “Mac” will become one of those names synonymous with their product like kleenex and xerox.

    To have a Mac will be to have a computer. Windows will be totally sidelined and used only by poor, aging baby boomers who don’t want to keep up with technology any more.

    Welcome to the Future (or some subset thereof).

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