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New Fast Company: Augmented (Fashion) Reality

My latest Fast Company piece is up: Augmented (Fashion) Reality takes a look at what happens when the world of fashion gets ahold of AR technology.

It starts out with a scenario. Here's a bit of it:

I remember the first time I saw an AR outfit. I did a double-take, because I could have sworn that the woman had been wearing a fairly bland dress when I saw her at a distance, but suddenly she was wearing a sparkling gown that I could swear was made of diamonds. A few minutes later, I took off my arglasses to get something out of my eye, and *poof* her dress was back to the simple beige shift. That bland outfit was actually carrying a half-dozen or so specialized smart tags, providing abundant 3D data that my arglasses--and the AR systems of everyone else around her--translated into that diamond dress.

I note late in the essay that fashion may end up being the "killer app" for wearable AR. The more I think about it, the more it rings true -- AR can't just be about finding the nearest Starbucks or getting a read on local environmental conditions. It has to be playful, too.

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