Gestures Control Could Make Augmented Reality The Next Big Thing

Everyone seems to be talking about Augmented Reality (AR). Last summer, the technology produced its first real success story in the form of Pokemon Go, which enthralled millions across the globe. Yet that may prove just a sideshow before the main event.

We’ve already seen how Apple’s ARKit can empower developers to produce wildly creative AR experiences – but rumors persist that Apple’s endgame involves an accessory not unlike Google Glass. Alongside Microsoft’s HoloLens, these head-mounted AR devices demand new ideas about how people use technology.

Done well, 3D gesture-tracking in AR could be as big a leap forward as the first generation of touchscreen interfaces ushered in by the original iPhone. There’s plenty of work to be done.

The Next Generation

“We firmly believe that virtual reality and AR is the next form of the computer, the next generation of smart devices,” said Dr. Yue Fei, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Bay Area human-computer interaction specialists uSens. He and his team think AR’s world-changing potential exceeds even that of VR. Why? Because it’s not as immersive.

uSens 3D hand-tracking demonstration

AR is a filter through which we see the world. It lets you to see your real surroundings and their device as one, which can have some powerful effects on the way we use our smartphones in an environment. AR allows your computer to use information about what’s surrounding you in real time without a display or similar physical interface, and that potential is unique.

Dr. Fei blitzed through examples of how AR could benefit people in the workplace. These aren’t scenarios where tech is being used for the sake of it, but situations where augmented technology could streamline and improve commonplace tasks.

Construction workers might catalogue tools on the job site, as we saw in a recent Microsoft presentation at the company’s Build conference. Maintenance workers could have access to a contextual manual,…

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