Once again, the weekend is upon us - time to unplug, unwind and relax!
But lest your brains turn to jelly during your time offline and away from work, load up your iPod with our weekly selection of podcasts sure to entertain and inform. The topic of this week's parade is augmented reality (AR), the technology used to add a layer of data and visualizations over the real world in which we live. Download these discussions of a hot new area of tech, and give them a listen at your leisure!
This week, we owe a huge hat-tip to our own Marshall Kirkpatrick, who is passionate and informed about the state of AR and has curated these podcasts at his Huffduffer page. We also owe a huge hat-tip to Huffduffer creator Jeremy Keith for making such a nifty tool for all us podcast lovers.
First up, here's Daniel Klotz and Ryan Mast, two Lancaster, PA-based technologists, discuss the social web and how our online activities increasingly "augment" our lives in the physical world. What does the future hold for us as users of technology and as human beings? How do we remain civilized in a heavily augmented reality? This is a great podcast to start thinking about how AR works and what it does in general terms.
Next, we have critical commentary from BusinessWeek's tech editor Peter Coy and Steve Wildstrom, who feels that mobile AR isn't real enough yet. Wildstrom makes the point that mobile devices don't have accurate enough data to make AR work - not yet, at least. While he praises some apps, such as a subway finder, but still finds that most of the AR applications he's tested haven't been particularly helpful. Of course, Wildstrom does have a few ideas on how to improve the state of mobile AR - listen on for an idea of how developers and manufacturers should be raising the bar.
Here's an interesting conversation between the editors of All Points, a location technology blog. They discuss how AR works and how it relates to geospatial technology. And they get to the point of many end users' concerns by questioning whether AR is simply a set of cool but essentially useless gimmicks or whether there are, in fact, real-world applications for these tools and - more importantly - money to be made in the AR market.
Finally, check out mobile developers Roger Brinkley and Terrence Barr talk to Kenneth Andersson and Erik Hellman of Sony Ericsson about how to build non-visual AR apps, focusing on API access.