When we were introduced with augmented reality, I thought it was the best technology out there for smartphones such as iPhones and Google Nexus. Mobile applications such as Layar and Yelp‘s Monocle function allows smartphones to be geo location devices to locate bars, restaurants, and special events, especially when you are in a different city or country that you are not familiar with. Applications like this even help with marketing campaigns, colleges are using augmented reality to show parents and prospective students their campuses. Now, the idea of “augmented” allows people to be searchable just by pointing a smartphone at them, the term is being called “augmented identity.”
A Swedish mobile software and design firm, The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), developed such a software called Recognizr for the Android operating system. It’s a combination of social networking and facial recognition. Much like Layar, you basically point your camera at a person and their social stream will pop up on your screen from Twitter to Facebook. You’ll basically have access to their profiles online, which brings up the question again, “will this violate our privacy?.” Technologists and emerging media aficiondos may see this as the next level of social media, but others fear that having this added to our mobile technology may be the closest thing to cyberstalking. This brings up an earlier issue about Facebook’s privacy settings, so this may ultimately bring up the issue again with augmented identity.
We’ll just have to wait and see how this new application will be adopted and applied in today’s tech savvy culture. Already, people use the geo-location apps such as Foursquare to notify their followers where they are at in real time and companies are using it to promote their brands by offering reward points. It’ll be interesting to see how augmented identity will be utilized in both personal and business applications.
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