The Kindle Test

[This post is going to be strange at times, readers should note that I’m the author, not Ori]
According to some estimates, up till now, Amazon sold more than one million units of Kindle.

That’s one million units for a device that is not a phone, doesn’t include a camera, can’t guide you from point A to B, has a grayscale screen, and really doesn’t do much but serving as an e-book reader (don’t get me wrong, I would love to have one).

The point is, e-book readers are far less revolutionary than AR devices. Some would claim (me included) that AR devices are also more useful. Yet, it seems that no one is building a dedicated augmented reality hardware. If AR was really that hot and not a technology that is still a few years away, shouldn’t we see at least a concept AR device? After all, if over a million Kindles were sold, the FlARe would sell like cupcakes.
Yes, the HMDs coming next year can be used for augmented reality, but it seems that they primerly target other markets.

Another “AR capable” device that targets other markets is, of course, the iPhone. Instead of complaining about the iPhone’s lack of support of augmented reality, can’t AR enthusiasts take action to their own hands? Isn’t there another Noah Zerkin type of guy that instead of building an amazing glove, would build a rough hand held AR device to prove that augmented reality is not a lot of hype? Sergey Ten has written today a set of features he is looking for in the perfect AR device. If you are a resourceful guy or girl, start from there.

Consider this post as a call for action, or at least for comments. Is augmented reality going to be bigger in 2010 than e-books readers to merit its own dedicated device?

3 Responses

  1. This frustrates me too.
    I really can only put it down to the failed VR hype a few decades back scaring everyone off still.

    Its utterly bonkers that so few firms are making ar-focused HMDs.
    They dont just seem unenthusiastic, they seem terrified of them.

    I mean, look at all the bezire concepts Nokia etc put out for mobile phones.
    Shape-shifting materials, roll-out screens, brackets, weird go-y things…..all sorts.

    But hmds? glass! oh noes!!!!! dread the thought that people would -ever- were glass’s! No!

    And its not really a style thing either. Look at the first mobile phones; They were bricks.

    If things are practical, the slickness can come gradually.
    We dont even have decent ar-focused HMDs for research/professional use yet.

  2. I think you make an excellent point, Rouli. The market could use something right now. I’m not smart enough to know if a Noah level inventor could work something up using materials at hand. The biggest obsticle is the screen.

    Maybe we need another Google Wave group looking at the feasibility of this. :)

  3. Yes, I think its just-about possible, but rather more tricky then software standards.
    We might end up with some start-up a bit like the folks that made the GP2X though. (which was an open source portable games console)

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