Human beings always aspire to become better, and venture beyond their limits, mental or physical. We don't have the strongest or the fastest body among living creatures on this planet, but we are clever enough to use tools. More and more advanced ones. Tools that in time will grant us superpowers, or at least help us make better decisions. Augmented reality in particular can help us get better at driving, climbing, playing pool and many other skill-based activities.
Getting up to speed
Speed is a key element in most of our activities, and in real life it's not the early bird catching the worm, but the one that flies faster. AR can help getting up to speed in sports like climbing, Brooklyn Builders turned a bouldering wall into a video game, where visual clues help the climbers reach the top as fast as possible. By the way, there's a virtual reality climbing game as well.
The HUD is finally becoming a real-life accessory in cars. It's awesome news, as distracted drivers are causing most of the accidents. A heads-up display can help you stay focused on the road, ultimately making driving safer. There are a few options from Exploride to Navdy, and augmented reality solutions are coming from car manufacturers as well, like Hyundai. Hyundai even turned the owner's manual to an augmented reality app. The next step is probably integrating a HUD into the windshield with navigation and communication applications.
Don't play hard, play smart
There are plenty of opportunities to use augmented reality in recreational sports. A great example is the augmented reality pool table helping you to aim and shoot better, but it's using quite an old technology. The future are the AR goggles.
Augmented reality HUDs were first used by the military fighter pilots, so some of the technology is already existing. The only question: when will they become mainstream? AR is finally coming with the HoloLens Development Edition going on pre-sales today, and these goggles will transform sports in the long term. Most of us remember the augmented reality firefighter HUD, but that's not mainstream enough. How about skiing? RideON Vision is the ultimate tool for ski enthusiasts, providing real-time info about the ride. It also add a gamification angle to an already competitive sport.
The return of the Glass
Google Glass was truly a revolutionary idea at that time. Not because it was a successful product (it really wasn't), but because Glass introduced a new type of wearables. We expect to see it coming back in some form down the road. When it does, the fitness industry is a great place to start it's second, and hopefully more successful life. There are promising players Recon Jet displays valuable information for athletes like health stats, helps with navigation and provides remote control for the other smart devices. Apart from AR, virtual reality is also starting to play a role in the fitness revolution.
What are your ideas, what sports or recreational activities can be augmented?