Augmented Reality, the Way of Information Transmission

With the constantly update of the technology of information transfer, display, and share, mankind from the initial transmission of information to write on stone tablet, to the invention of printing press later, and then the invention of telephone, still now we have iPhone(Farman, J), all are the breakthroughs of human communication. Every breakthrough greatly shortened the time of information transmission, enriched the delivery content; and emerged various forms of information expression, such as image and video. So these related information overlapping on the reality virtually and we can check them out through our media devices, computer, mobile phone, etc. people defined this technology as augmented reality “mixes the real environment with the virtual, is registered in three-dimensions, real-time, and interactive” (Azuma, R). For example, I believe many people use Google Maps every day, Google Maps is a typical product of the concept of augmented reality.

Google Maps has such as many powerful functions, like route planner for traveling by different transportation like car, bicycle, and even public transportation with their schedule, and also we can get the location of public facilities around you. Google Maps also provide the third-party website, allows people check more additional information we need. These all information we acquire from Google Maps are existing in the augmented reality. Liao and Humphreys say “It’s the relationship of both the place and the augmentation” in the article Layer-ed places: Using mobile augmented reality to tactically reengage, reproduce, and reappropriate public space. So the “place” is where we are standing and the destination we are heading; and the “augmentation” is the route to the destination.

Layar is another mobile application based upon augmented reality technology. It is a browser enable users to see the various tied information through it. Liao and Humphreys claimed that the application, Layar is like a mobile geotagging. It is also the link between digital materials and physical location (Casey et al.). People can explore truth further. I remembered an example Dr. Liao presented in this week’s lecture. People enable to know the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989 when uses Layar at Tiananmen Square, which is a student movement to against the Chinese government that was prohibited discussion since. The power of augmented reality to expose obscure truth.

Cellphone now as the main media device for running augmented reality applications was invented in 1973 (Goggin). Cellphone accessed to internet till early 2000s (Farman). This is the foundation of augmented reality technology to apply widely in the present world. The function of cellphone was changing by the internet accessing. Cellphone now is like a collection of various electronic devices and functions compare with the original intention.

People always have motivation to annotate place and try to have an objective evaluation in annotations because this behavior is critical to our survival (Liao & Humphreys). People hope receive helpful and true information they need so they rather believe in customer feedback than official advertisement. This is the reason why Yelp occurs and succeed. There are photos were taken by customers, comments about the restaurant present on the screen of an actual restaurant. Yelp really helped people distinguish the quality of restaurants. We do not have to try to a restaurant without knowing anything of it, and can also find greater restaurant, which you may never find without such software. On the other hand, there are also the inevitable false information on Yelp. Usually the merchant hire professional “customers” provide good evaluation to propagandize. This is a problem that such software cannot be avoided because it is difficult to determine the advertising comments and real comments from customers.

A great feature of augmented reality is the interaction, now it is not only “we have the ability to see and hear what is in a place and have all of the content that is available from a location based service, but also now the ability to change the visual and audio representation of a place” (Liao and Humphreys). Like all the example I list above, users have the ability to change the information of certain thing and event in the software and share with other users, meanwhile acquire different opinions from others about certain thing. Therefore, the interaction between people formed and it is like a net between users, there is no distance and time limitation. So the information update rate is fast and objective compare with signal point of view.

The purpose of all the augmented reality technology applications is helping people to getting to know things better, and changes the way of knowing related information of surroundings. People would not carry an encyclopedia book in the daily life. Also the best way to know the world is through the eyes, rather than books.


Farman, Jason. (2012). “Historicizing Mobile Media: Locating Transformations of Embodied Space,” in N. Arceneaux & A. Kavoori (Eds), The Mobile Media Reader. New York: Peter Lang. P. 9-22.

Goggin, Gerard. (2006). Cell Phone Culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. London: Routledge. Chapter 2, 19-40.

Mobile History Timeline (2014, January 20). Retrieved 2015, February 1 from

Liao, T., & Humphreys, L. (2014). Layar-ed places: Using mobile augmented reality to tactically reengage, reproduce, and reappropriate public space. New Media & Society. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from

Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. (2015, January 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:12, February 2, 2015, from

Businesses tired of Yelp extortion are speaking out. (2013, May 3)Retrieved (2015, February, 1)

Layar – Impactful Augmented Reality in Your Everyday Life. (2011, February 16)Retrieved (2015, February, 1)


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