Chapter 6. Storytelling and the Human Imagination

In my 2013 talk at the annual Augmented World Expo (AWE) in Silicon Valley, I gave a presentation using only metaphors to describe Augmented Reality (AR), without showing any actual AR. I used images from outside of the field with the intent to refresh and reframe the community’s and industry’s perspective on where we currently were at the time and where we needed (and still need) to go. One of my slides included the design of a clear kayak. A transparent kayak allows for a more immersive experience for the kayaker and a direct relationship with the kayaker’s environment. The clear kayak provides an invisible barrier that permits an entryway: the kayaker is able to access a view and experience that was not accessible before with an ordinary opaque kayak.

The clear kayak functions as a large open window, with the user and content sharing the same physical environment. The clear kayak gives the illusion of “disappearing” with the kayaker left in the direct presence of the environment. This clear kayak is significant and symbolic of the new AR that is emerging in which the user is more deeply immersed and directly engaged. AR experiences began on the computer screen, tethered to the desktop. The technology migrated to smartphones and tablets, and today is moving to eyewear and beyond. The AR screen will ultimately disappear and we will be immersed directly in the story of this hybrid reality. This sense of immersion will be further ...

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