The future of augmented reality isn't on your smartphone or face, it's in the everyday items all around us. At least that's the belief of Gordon Meyer, the vice president of marketing at New York-based startup Lampix.
Meyer joined me recently in New York to talk about why he believes this is true. Part of how he thinks this will be accomplished is by embedding depth-sensing cameras and projectors into items like lamps and overhead lights — from your bedroom to your office desk to the local cafe — with the ability to add interactive virtual display information relevant to your needs.
The first version of this dynamic is embodied in the first Lampix device, which looks, as you might guess, a lot like a lamp.
Currently, the company is running a Kickstarter campaign designed raise $200,000 to help fund the production and distribution of the AR system.
"[Lampix is] opening up a new way for us to think about computers. If you think about the desktop computer, nothing has really changed in the last 20 years," said Meyer. "You've got the IBM computer that came out in 1981, a monitor, a keyboard, eventually we added the mouse. But nothing's really changed other than the fact that we got rid of the keyboard, we got rid of the mouse, and we took the monitor [and] made it smaller and put it in our pocket."
He then explained why he thinks Lampix has the answer to taking AR mainstream versus smartphones and AR smartglasses.
"The question remains, in the future, is it going to be [about] more screens? And for those in the AR camp, [the answer is] pretty squarely 'no,' it shouldn't be. We shouldn't have 50 screens around us at all times. We don't want that," said Meyer.
"[In the future] if I walk into a Nike store and you have the Apple AR glasses and I have the Snapchat AR glasses, is it the same experience? I don't know. But if you take away the hardware, and you offer something that's projector-based, anyone walking up and encountering that [AR experience] can experience the same thing. You get something that's communal, and really easy to access."
To learn more about Lampix's plans for taking embedded AR mainstream versus wearable AR devices, how AR insiders talked about the AR business at the recent SXSW conference, and what Meyer thinks of all the hype around Magic Leap, listen to the full audio interview here.