Augmented Reality Event (ARE2012) Kicking ARse

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It has been a whirl-wind visit to Santa Clara, California, as I sit in the “User Experience in AR” presentation.  Mark Billinghurst of HIT Labs NZ is talking about AR Rapid Development.  Words cannot describe how amazing this conference is.  There is so much to talk about and not enough time.

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to moderate an all-star panel of amazing contributors:

  • Best Selling New York Times Author of Daemon – Daniel Suarez
  • Emerging Media Legal Expert – Brian Wassom of
  • Cybercop Portal Co-founder – Kevin Manson
  • Special Agent IRS Criminal Investigator – Dave
  • CEO of Daqri – Brian Mullins (missing from photo)

The one-hour panel discussion rocked as we talked about important social and legal issues:

  • Facial and object recognition
  • Person and object tracking – content specific information
  • Geo-location and social proximity
  • Social Engineering through AR
  • Crowd-source data Harnessing
  • social and legal impact of Augmented Reality
  • Hacking
  • Augmented Reality Drones and other law enforcement uses
  • Training in real-time scenarios
  • How AR can be used for good (including Search & Rescue)
  • How AR can be used by miscreants and criminal organizations
  • and beyond!

We only scratched the surface but we raised important issues that need a much deeper discussion and input from the private sector, public sector and Augmented Reality community.

Our goals of this track were the following:

  • Find ways to protect society through AR uses and applications
  • Get researchers and developers thinking of these important legal and social implications BEFORE and DURING the creativity process.
  • Allow innovators to create amazing applications without giving cyber-criminals or miscreants a blueprint to victimize or harm society.

We believe we succeeded!

ARE2012 kicked off the Auggies (best demo award) last night which is a contest to show off the best AR creations to date.  The judges were comprised of Bruce Sterling, Daniel Suarez, Mark Billinghurst, and Will Wright.

After a huge number of demos, Trak Lord of metaio took the Champion AR trophy with a cool overlay of a replica city using AR.  What propelled metaio was there ability to track overlayed digital layers with unprecedented accuracy.  Congrats to metaio and look for Trak Lord and metaio to be featured on a future Augmented Reality Dirt podcast.

The conference has not yet ended but it has been an incredible experience that will continue to thrust Augmented Reality to never-seen before heights.  “The best way to predict the future is to invent it – Alan Kay.”


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  1. Dave says

    I really hope we get to do this again. It was a great time. I wouldn’t mind even having a little weekly write-in with all of our opinions on your site.

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