AR Experience Report: Articulated Naturality Web

QderoPateo Communications (QPC) introduced their concept of the future as the Articulated Naturality Web (ANW). What I find most compelling about their vision for outdoor AR is the way information is seamlessly integrated into the natural world (when possible), rather than floating in front of the world. With the current state of technology, this kind of integration with the natural world is generally feasible only on a smaller scale. However, as outdoor tracking becomes more precise and 3d models of our outdoor environments become more available, this type of augmentation really makes sense for AR experiences that are meant to inform the user.

For instance, one of the biggest advantages of using natural surfaces when informing the user about their environment is the automatic correlation between semantic information and objects in the environment. This creates a more intuitive interface. Since both information about the object and the actual object are perceptually processed as one and the same, the user is freed from the burden of consciously associating one with the other. As seen in the video (2:04), a hotel with room availability portrayed as glowing rooms is a great example of how useful this concept can be.

ANW is touted by QPC as “a complete renaissance in the way we approach technology”. Although ANW as portrayed in the video is certainly compelling (after getting past all the squinting from lack of HMDs), I would argue that rather than being an entirely a new way of thinking about technology, it’s simply the next logical development for AR. For me, this video inspires me to think carefully about the purposes of a particular interface, and to keep those purposes in mind to make it intuitive. When developing an AR experience that augments the world with many layers of information, making it easy for the user to process can be challenging. In such a scenario, doing as much as possible to merge the semantics with their corresponding objects may be a solution.