Industry Interview - Exploring the future of AR with Ed Barton, CEO at Curiscope

Earlier this month we spoke to VR, AR & MR industry pioneers, Curiscope, to explore one of the latest devices from the industry and their current work in the sector.

With the explosion of VR this year and AR following closely behind, do you think the two will stay separate bodies?
I think the more appropriate term moving forwards is probably Mixed Reality. Both technologies will serve different purposes but will likely touch on similar hardware and content. AR is about bringing the digital world into the physical world. VR is about taking you somewhere else.

I expect AR to replace screens. Why have a physical screen when you can create a virtual one anywhere? I expect VR to make experiences accessible. It’s perhaps a slightly more niche application but one that is equally powerful. Arcades and theme parks will be reinvented these experiences will be possible to replicate in the home.

Do you see AR sitting with a specific industry in future?
I see these technologies being as limited as computers are now i.e. not at all. They will infiltrate every industry in which they add value.

Taking this into consideration where do you see your expertise taking you in future and is any of your current work reflecting your predictions?

We took the decision to start exploring AR because we believe that, as the technology progresses, it has the potential to provide an incredibly magical experience. One product that we’re about to launch after a successful crowdfunding campaign is the Virtuali-Tee, an AR/VR T-Shirt that lets you peer inside a friend’s anatomy by pointing your device at their t-shirt. This for us, is the opportunity: transform the everyday into something magical.

We’re really excited about the democratization of this tech and how the experience you can currently get on an HTC Vive will filter down to mobile. On the mobile AR side, Google have some interesting projects and investments. In the immediate future, the 3D environment scanner, Tango will be really interesting and will elevate the level of consumer AR. In the distant future, we (along with all the industry) are eagerly waiting to see what will come out of $1bn+ funded stealth start-up, Magic Leap. If they’re creating the tech that I believe they are, I expect to see them radically transform computing.