The Appeal of Augmented Reality

One of the most fascinating things about technology is how it can become so personal in one’s life. Devices are now more convenient to use than they’ve ever been. This is amazing because people love when something is specifically dedicated to them. It makes the connection that much more special. For example, most people appreciate a gift when someone puts much thought into it. It means that the person actually cared enough to personalize a gift instead of just getting you something quick. This makes me think about technology and the way it works because devices become personalized the more they are put to use. Autocorrect on iPhones start to pick up on one’s lingo and makes it easier and quicker to text over time. That’s an example of personalization.   How did we get here?

One major stepping stone that got us to the place of augmented reality is the first wireless telegraph. In 1896, Marconi brought his wireless telegraph to England and patented it! (Baker 1970; Huurdemen 2003:207) Goggin 24. Wireless is a key component to the many forms of technology today because of what it enables through these forms of technology. Liao and Humpreys discuss the idea of memorializing public space. Without wireless, people would not be able to do this to a certain extent. Wireless technology has enables the connection to social media to be more effective because people could take a photograph/video and post it to social media right away. That is an example of memorializing public space. “These practices highlight the mutually constitutive relationship between code and place. If the augmented skeletons were removed from those places, the augmentations would have a different meaning and the place itself would have a different meaning” (Liao. 2014).   Augmented reality is the technology that illuminates things and makes them memorable for people.

Liao and Humpreys writes this article to show that Augmented Reality is definitely an advancement in technology but also shows the world that there is more to come. AR is unique because it it used as a way to both interconnect people and allow more private forms of communication to exist.  Even though it alters place, it creates so many other great aspects that are intended for the betterment of society in this digital age.  Also, education is a key part of AR. “A common form of augmentation described was making layers that give public information or facts about a place” (Liao & Humphreys, 2014, p. 9).  Liao and Humpreys believe that people should be educated about their surroundings and AR does just that.  It’s an opportunity for some to learn about what they usually overlook on a normal day. technology and education connected are beginning to connect when it comes to teaching today. Some fear AR because it’s amazingly creepy.  the things that can be done are unfamiliar and new to the world.  Anything that is new has the ability to create fear it others because it’s now what people may be use to.

Works Cited

Ling, Rich and Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Mobile Communication. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Chapter 2, p. 30-48.
Goggin, Gerard. (2006). Cell Phone Culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. London: Routledge. Chapter 2, 19-40.

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.

Liao, T., & Humphreys, L. (2014). Layar-ed places: Using Mobile Augmented Reality to Tactically Reengage, Reproduce, and Reappropriate Public Space. New Media and Society, 1-18.



AR —


Overtime, with all the social, current and cultural events that people are encountered with in their everyday lives, technologies have developed and transformed along history to match the tasks that people go through every day to make their lives more simple. Since media consumes most of these tasks, and lives are becoming more and more mobile, mobile media and technology has developed drastically overtime to make consuming media almost impossible. According to Liao and Humphreys, “mobile media technologies enable digital recreations of those physical artifacts…because of this, mobile technologies raise new opportunities for the creation of place, allowing people to reencounter everyday space and understand the structure of those settings” (Dourish, 2006) (p.3).

As mentioned above, mobile media have drastically changed over the years. Since the before the 1400s, when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press – allowing the printing and distribution of written media, ancient Egyptians used stone tablets to inscribe media that would become portable (Farman, p. 11-12). Form the printing press to the first telephone, invented in 1877, to the very first text message sent in the 1990s, comes the augmented reality (AR) in the 2010s (Goggin, p. 19-36). As time, space and place progress the technologies and improvement in technologies that were being invented had to progress along with it to ‘keep up’ with the development. With the historical development in mobile technology the single use of a cell phone has transcribed into many uses as people and technology advance.

In today’s current developments in technology, a simple “search on Google” or text is not particularly advanced enough for what mankind is eager to do. When a person has stepped into a place, that place can be observed, or it can be perceived in its augmented reality (AR). As said by Liao and Humphreys (2014) AR is the “technology that mixes the real environment with the virtual [it] is registered in three-dimensions, real-time, and interactive (Azuma, 1997)” (p.1). It is a technology that has advanced with the people who are making the changes and have “focused almost exclusively on technological development efforts” (Liao & Humphreys, p. 2).

AR has given the people the chance to not only explore the world around them, but to explore the world with their mobile media/technologies, and to explore the world through others that have been in the same ‘space’ where “the relationship between place and space is complex and…place is more socially constructed” (Liao & Humphreys, p. 3). Liao and Humphreys (2014) argue that as a form of modern communication, “one common form of augmentation described was making layers that give public information or facts about a place…Many AR layers have this particular motivation – helping a number of people access useful information about their surrounding locations” (p. 9). When a person steps into a new town, instead of using the mobile application “Yelp” to discover the new and exciting places, memorials, and restaurants around them, AR helps the explorer ‘see,’ in real-time, three-dimensional figures and interact through their mobile phone or tablet by “creating augmentations that communicate through places, by creating virtual objects tied to location for the purposes of personally interacting with others” (Liao and Humphreys, p. 13). In essence it is not a form of media that is to ‘take over’ what media was yesterday or replace what the ‘space’ is physically in real life, it is an “attempt to guide people through that space” as well as, “AR…do not alter the strategic production or representation of physical space” (Liao & Humphreys, p. 13). When Liao and Humphreys (2014) argue that their findings “suggest that mobile AR instead opens up new tactical possibilities for reproduction and reinterpreting places in three important ways” – these ways are factors that are taken into consideration, when realizing how people and technology are developing everyday (p. 13).

The study that Liao and Humphreys specially researched were users of Layar, an AR application. They found that users of Layar were using AR to make their own content to explore a place that they can communicate through. Also, the users of Layar argue the political and historical construct and meaning in a ‘place’ to signify its authority. They applied “De Certeau’s (1984) theory of social practice, strategies, and tactics to reveal the complexities of these technological uses and how they (re)produce place” (Liao & Humphreys, p. 3).

When users are using AR in a new space, there are actions that the users have to use a medium, such as a cell phone or a tablet, or a device that must be worn, such as glasses or a head mounted application. Through these devices and modern media, “mobile AR has been theorized as a technology that can further complicate the relationship between space, navigation, and commercialism, because it allows for virtual content to become part of that place…[it] can improve people’s navigation and experience when deployed in urban areas (Spohrer, 1999) (Lee et al., 2012; Rehrl et al., 2012)” (Liao & Humphreys, p. 4).

  • Farman, J. (2012). Historicizing Mobile Media: Location the Transformations of Embodied Space. The Digital Formations,73.
  • Goggin, Gerard. (2006). Cell Phone Culture: Mobile technology in everyday life. London: Routledge. Chapter 2, 19-40.
  • Hidden Creative. [hiddencreative]. (2010, Dec, 1). The Future of Augmented Reality [Video file]. Retrieved 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
  • Ling, Rich and Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Mobile Communication. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Chapter 2, p. 34
  • Tony Stark image by:

Augmented Reality and it’s Developing Role in Media History

The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440. (Farman, 12) Before the printing press, people relied on word of mouth, stone carved tablets, and hand-written documents for information. The invention of the printing press allowed for mass production (and distribution) of written media. Up until this time, every form of media was hand-written.

The first working mechanical telegraph was created by the Chappe brothers in the 1790’s. (Solymar 1999, p.22-31) This is important because it improved communication speeds and helped expand the network range. It became faster to transfer messages through telegraph than to have messages delivered by carriers. Similar to the railroads being built across the country, the telegraph, and eventually the telephone, connected parts of the world previously difficult to reach. Alexander Graham Bell was the first person to truly monetize the telephone in the 1880’s. The telephone was not developed into private use or widely popular until the 1900’s. (Goggin, 22)

Alexander Graham Bell’s company, Bell Labs, developed a number of important technologies such as important work on computers, computer languages and software in the aftermath of WW2. His labs experimented with programming computers to switch telephone calls, turn radios on & off, change radio frequencies and automatically connect radios to the telephone system. (Goggin, 26) This was the start of developing computers into multi-use devices that led to family-sized computers and eventually laptops.

These mobile technologies were important in laying the foundations for the telecommunications industry and information society. The printing press, telegraph, and telephone led to the mobilization of ideas. Without these fundamental technologies of the printing press, telegraph, and telephone, Augmented Reality would not be a possibility in the 21st century.

After the telephone, the cellular network and development of mobiles phones has changed the telecommunications industry. In 1969, the cellular system was introduced as a payphone on an Amtrak metroliner between New York City and Washington D.C. (Ling & Donner) The transition from telephones to mobile phones with screens is significant in the development of augmented reality. Augmented Reality is currently used primarily on mobile phones and mobile technology, so AR technology would not have developed yet if mobile phones, computers and wearable devices had not also been developed. Motorola was associated with mobile phones and first-generation cellular telephony in the 1970’s-1980’s. (Goggin, 29) Motorola also had a role in developing computers before this time period.

In terms of the history of Mobile Media, it is important to mention the development of national radio. Radio was a popular form of communication in trucks and cars. It expanded as a platform for citizens across the country to gather information from about sports, politics, and pop culture. Radio as media is important in the overall history of mobile technology. The purpose it served in giving people a deeper understanding of their surrounding society is relevant to Augmented Reality, however, there is not much else in common between radio and augmented reality.

In addition to these three technologies, the most important predecessor to Augmented Reality is the computer. The computer was only briefly mentioned in the Mobile Media Collaborative Timeline. Without the development of the modern day computer, there would be no place in society for Augmented Reality. The availability of computers allowed for the development of new sciences. Originally, computers were called computing machines. Computing machines intended only to process numbers, decode numbers and letters, and complete a variety of mathematic equations. Computers opened up new horizons and possibilities for scientists and the public. Embedded below is part one of a documentary about the invention and modernization of computers.

The commercialization of computers, and mobile phones, allowed for the development of Augmented Reality technology. Augmented reality technology mixes real life experiences with virtual experiences. Augmented reality technology is interactive, 3-Dimensional as opposed to static 2-Dimensional and takes place in real-time instead of requiring prior processing. Using mobile phones with AR technology makes the content and layers available a lot less bounded.

Using the example of LayAR, as discussed by Liao and Humphreys, what this means is that the technology is constantly updating based off of the user’s surroundings to show the user what other people have said and uploaded about their location. The goal is to use the technology to inform people and improve their lives. Embedded below is a demonstration video of the LayAR platform. The user can also add to the layers and content of the app.

Studying emerging uses of AR deepens our understanding of how emerging media may complicate practices, experiences, and relationships in the spatial landscape. Augmented reality technology works to provide users with information based on their location so they may familiarize themselves with the area. This information can help give users a deeper understanding of the place they are in, and it may also help users feel connected within their space. AR technology can also be used negatively to over-advertise products and commercialize everything. It is not widely used enough yet for a clear boundary to be available between acceptable and inappropriate amounts of advertising.


Collaborative. Mobile History Timeline. Retrieved (2015, February, 1) From 

Farman, J. (2012). Historicizing Mobile Media. In N. Arceneaux & A. Kavoori (Eds.), The Mobile Media Reader (pp. 9-22). New York: Peter Lang.

Goggin, G. (2006). Making voice portable: The early history of the cell phone. In Cell phone culture: Mobile technology in everyday life (pp. 19-40). London: Routledge.

Liao, T. and Humphreys L. [2014]. Layer-ed places: Using mobile augmented reality to tactically reengage, reproduce, and reappropriate public space. Retrieved (2015, February, 1)

Ling, R. and Donner, J. (2009). Mobile Communication. Chapter 2, (p. 30-48) Malden, MA: Polity Press.

The Chronicles of Democratic Access to Information, or: the History of Mobile Media

The first mobile media emerged thousands of years ago when papyrus was used in ancient Egyptian society, allowing written messages to spread more quickly and easily than stone inscriptions (Farman, 2012, p. 11).  As the centuries progressed, these paper-based documents enabled the transportation of ideas and messages across vast distances, both temporally and geographically.  This influenced perceptions of space among communities with access to this information and drove the development of mapmaking practices as a way to represent the places they lived and visited.  Before paper maps, travelers depended on oral and textual guides for navigation, neither of which represented place in a relatively accessible, navigable manner.  Maps were the first material guides that annotated place in a form that permitted autonomy for the user (Liao, 2015), dramatically changing individual–and cultural–mobility.

As maps connected communities across continents, the spread of ideas naturally followed.  In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press not only accelerated the production and proliferation of mobile textual materials, but also revolutionized the societal perception of space wherever it was available (Farman, 2012, p. 12).  For the first time, European commoners had the ability to record new ideas and spread them beyond those close enough to hear them shout (or, more likely in that Vatican-controlled society, whisper).  In addition to transforming the relationship between messages and physical space, the printing press made the written word no longer exclusive to the elite or the Church.  (Click here for more information about propaganda during the Reformation) The printing press, in conjunction with the emergence of reliable maps, destroyed the previous technological barriers to the transmission of political, religious, cultural, and scientific messages, democratizing the annotation of events and ideas throughout history.

In the early modern era, the invention of the telegraph by the Chappe brothers in 1790 (Solymar, 1999, as cited in Goggin, 2006, p. 19), and its subsequent commercialization in the century that followed, played an influential role in the turbulent geopolitics of the era (Headrick, 1991, as cited in Goggin, 2006, p. 20).  The invention of the telephone at the end of the 19th century and its popularization in the beginning of the 20th century was accompanied by the rise of affordable transportation across long distances with the railways and steamboats and locally with mass-produced automobiles (Goggin, 2006, p. 20).  Knowledge and material goods–and technologies–crossed the globe at unprecedented speeds to be consumed and absorbed by the masses.  As European colonialism was reached its peak, local histories were written and rewritten by the dominant culture while inadvertently exposing previously isolated communities to new mobile technologies and transforming their sense of geographic, historic, and temporal space (Farman, 2012, p. 12).

The popularization of the CB radio in the 1970s (Goggin, 2006, p. 27) led to the first location-based mobile experience of space by allowing travelers to communicate with other nearby CB radio users (Farman, 2012, p. 14).  Information related to a given place was no longer bound by the finite nature of paper maps and guides (Liao, 2015); individuals using CB radios could reach others in the area, allowing them to share their own messages of navigation, resources, and histories.  Simultaneously, commercial cellular networks were launched in the United States (Goggin, 2006, p. 29), followed by handheld devices from Motorola (Farman, 2012, p. 17).  Consumers eagerly embraced this technology as a means of communicating while in motion, which transformed perceptions of place.  Previous technology allowed the instant exchange of messages across vast distances, but mobile phones were the first to introduce this practice into public spaces.

By the 1990s, mobile handsets became commonplace and offered features beyond voice calls as new technologies were integrated into these devices (Goggin, 2006, p. 32).  The addition of cameras, GPS, and web browsing tools in response to consumer demands speaks to the free-thinking cultural trends of the era and remarkable developments in the annotation of place.  Navigation tools provided constant feedback for the first time, and web-based information could be updated instantly to reflect the latest changes and preserve new stories associated with a given place.  The paradigm shift in digital mobile media occurred in 2009, when handheld devices were used more for data transfer than voice communication (Farman, 2012, p. 17).  Augmented reality services are the latest development, combining the benefits of location- and web-based programs with powerful new tools to shape the representation of space (Liao & Humphreys, 2014, p. 2).

The applications of augmented reality are truly limitless, as it creates a non-exclusive space in which an infinite number of augmented representations are possible in the same real-world space (Liao, 2015).  The annotation of place is no longer confined to material space as users can share experiences using the place as a prompt for information, or modify a space by adding a virtual hologram only accessible through the augmented lense (Liao & Humphreys, 2014, p. 4-5).  This technology has great potential for subversive applications, as it permits the creation of virtual presences to promote new discourse or tell suppressed histories in places that would otherwise restrict the presence of this information (Liao, 2015).  Augmented reality is the culmination of mobile media transforming perceptions of place across millennia–the first technology to provide access to three-dimensional navigation, boundless information, and the democratic creation of narratives.

Works Cited

Brown, M. (2015, January 3). Motorola StarTAC Introduced – This Day in Tech History. [embedded image link] Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

Farman, J. (2012). Historicizing Mobile Media. In N. Arceneaux & A. Kavoori (Eds.), The Mobile Media Reader (pp. 11-17). New York: Peter Lang.

Garcia, D. (n.d.). Treasures from the London Library: Visual propaganda during the Reformation. Retrieved February 2, 2015, from

Goggin, G. (2006). Making voice portable: The early history of the cell phone. In Cell phone culture: Mobile technology in everyday life (pp. 19-32). London: Routledge.

Liao, T., & Humphreys, L. (2014). Layar-ed places: Using mobile augmented reality to tactically reengage, reproduce, and reappropriate public space. New Media & Society, 1(18), 2-5. Retrieved January 22, 2015, from
Liao, T. (Director) (2015, January 28). Augmented Reality. Mobile Media. Lecture conducted from Temple University, Philadelphia.

What is A.R.T.?

Do you know what A.R.T. is? I am going to go on a limb and say no, you don’t, but that’s perfectly fine because by the end of this article you will have a better understanding of what the acronym means. So to start let’s begin with examples of what A.R.T. is not. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel or Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster is art but not A.R.T.. A.R.T.. is short for Augmented Reality Technology. A.R.T. or by its other name AR is a communications tool, and it is defined as “a technology that mixes the real environment with the virtual, is registered in three-dimensions, real-time, and interactive “(Liao and Humphreys 1). So by definition the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel is not A.R.T, however A.R.T can manipulate these pieces and others like it.

So now that we know what is A.R.T the next valid concern would be when did this sort of technology arrive? And to answer that question we have to acknowledge a quick time line from which every communication instrument developed.

For instance: papyrus a plant based cloth deriving from the 1350-1400 century, which acted as a form of paper, fast-forward to 1440, with the invention of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press which kick starts the manufacturing and distribution of written media. After the printed word has been in circulation for over 450 year comes Mr. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, who placed the first call on March 10, 1876(America library). With such amazement within 24 short years later in the early 1900’s there was “1 telephone subscriber per 10,000 people in the USA” (Ling & Donner 34). 15 years later as the telephone industry is growing in “1915 there was 1 phone per 1000 people in the USA” (Ling & Donner, 34). In 1947 the Engineers at Bell Laboratories came up with the concept of the “cellular idea,” which give us the term “cell phone,” (Farman, p. 16). In the year 1973 Martin Cooper (Motorola CEO) made the ‘world’s first’ call on a portable, hand-held cell phone (Goggin 29). 1983 Motorola released its first handheld mobile phone in the United States (Farman 17). In the year 1993 IBM and BellSouth first showed Simon, the first smart phone (times). On May 1, 2000, President Bill Clinton opens civilian access to GPS signals (Farman, pg. 19), in which allowed developers to create technologies such as Augmented Realities. In Early 2000s, Access to Internet, voice and text communication, location-awareness, and data retrieval from the internet offered change in which we spatially interact with others and with cultural objects (Farman 19). Furthermore just to put things in perspective June 29, 2007 the first generation iPhone was released (Crunch Base). In 2009 “Layar is a mobile AR browser that first launched and is the largest mobile AR platform with more than 33 million downloads. The company also reports over 1 million downloads a month” (Liao and Humphreys 6). The

So this brief timeline shows the evolution of technology and leading up to present day’s Augmented Reality Technology. Companies such a Google and Microsoft fabricated devices such as Glass and Hololens, that has dissolved or still in beta testing. These designs are advertised to be worn on your head covering the face however there is a simpler way to experience A.R.T. and the equipment needed is most likely within arms reach; your cell phone. The application “Layar” is available on several popular market places (Google Play, iOS App Store, Blackberry World) and works by displaying “points of interest (POIs), user-created annotations, or graphics based on the Global Positioning System (GPS) location of the device and orientation of the built-in camera, compass, and accelerometer” (Liao and Humphreys 2). It is amazing that as little as 600 years man as been able to innovate develops and communicates information of all types to each other across the globe in the matter of seconds, all within the palm of our hands. Now being able to virtually alter how place is perceived is the next chapter of this journey.

The Augmented Reality Technology is available and it’s open for the general public to experiment with and anyone with a smart device and an Internet connection can use the service. However, what makes Augmented Reality Technology great is the ability that users [can] creating content on Layar in ways that communicate about and through place, which shapes their relationship and interpretations of places around them. Interpretations, is the feature that sticks out the most, thus allowing groups of like minded people to expand on a given topic.

For instance first, participants such as Sander Veenhof described it as a feeling of empowerment: “I feel more in control. I feel like if I don’t agree with anything I can reshape it for those in my own imaginary world.” This feeling was not limited only to when they used the technology, but also altered their perception of place across future contexts and settings. (Liao and Humphreys 9).

As for my input about the arguments reality programs I played with Layar app on iOS, and I found it to be very interesting that I get the scanned products and potentially learn about them however I felt as if all the items I scanned we’re not found in its database this could be due to its infancy or the product they have never been recorded but I am very excited to see where this technology Will take us.

Works cited

Aamoth, D. (2014, August 18). First Smartphone Turns 20: Fun Facts About Simon. Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

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.

IPhone. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

Liao, T., & Humphreys, L. (2014). Layar-ed places: Using mobile augmented reality to tactically reengage, reproduce, and reappropriate public space. New Media & Society, 2014, 1-18.

Ling, Rich and Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Mobile Communication. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Chapter 2, p. 30-48.

Papyrus. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

The First Telephone Call. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

Mobile and AR History

The history of media is an incredible story that is still being written. New technologies and innovations are being released as we speak. Portable media dates all the way back to Ancient Egypt when papyrus was invented as an alternative to the outdated tablet inscription (Farman, Pg. 11). April 4th, 1973, the first mobile call was made on a handheld device – a 2-kilo Motorola Dynatac (Ling and Donner, Pg. 42). The first handheld mobile phone was released by Motorola in the United States ten years thereafter (Farman, pg. 17). In a post released on, there were a reported 1.8 billion mobile phones sold in 2013 (Mobithinking, 2014). The nineteenth century was highlighted with the development of the telegraph, telephone and the global system for mobile communication that can be used throughout the whole continent (Ling & Donner, pg. 38).
Now, we have entered the digital age with technology all around us. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and the newest trend – wearable technology. We utilize these devices for downloading content and receiving information almost instantaneously. While our devices get smaller, lighter and thinner, the speed gets faster, memory gets higher and the capabilities increase. Our mobile devices have the power to take us anywhere we want to go, both in the virtual world and in reality. With all these apps and maps, what could be next? – augmented reality.

Augmented reality is a technology that provides us with a view that is a mix between reality and virtual reality. Augmented reality, or AR for short, works when someone uses some type of device that is capable of viewing AR-specific content. That content can be activated by mobile devices with augmented reality software installed, or with wearable technology such as Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLens. In terms of mobile devices, someone can take a picture of a certain physical space, then selecting certain content to appear when a user holds their device up to that space. Creating virtual content over physical space adds a whole new layer of creativity for people. If they want to look at something in a new way they can simply create content to appear over that space, adding personalization to an already existing object, no matter how big or small.  In an article written by Tony Liao and Lee Humphreys, they dive into augmented reality and explore what it is and how it is currently being used, and how it can be used in the future. On page 8, Liao and Humphreys interviewed a few people and asked them if the ability to augment things has changed their perception of place. One person that they interviewed Joseph, who started a company that has already created several augmented reality “layers” replied, “Absolutely, I  can now say everywhere I go, if I’m in a place I think about how this could be improved from an augmented reality point of view […] I try to think of other uses but then concentrate on the ones that have more of an impact. (Liao and Humphreys, pg. 8). Augmented reality gives the users the ability to change the way we see things that have already been created. It provides the user with a feeling of power and control because now they can see something virtually however they choose. The architects who constructed the buildings, for example, designed them with the intentions of looking a certain way and serving a certain purpose. But now, anybody can change that, virtually. When asked the same question, Kristin, a New York City artist replied by saying, “Absolutely, I can now say everywhere I go, if I’m in a place I think about how this could be improved from an augmented reality point of view” (Liao and Humphreys, Pg. 8). Augmented reality is adding an entirely new realm of creativity for people to add their own unique personalization to a physical space. If one does not agree with the what they see and what has currently been constructed they can reshape it and customize it just how they want.

Just as history tends to repeat itself, our technology is continuously evolves. When it comes to augmented reality it is not just what you can create and view using your mobile devices, but it is also moving in the direction of wearable eye-technology. Steve Mann, the pioneer computerized eyewear, has been experimenting with this technology for more than 35 years, long before anyone else knew anything about it. Mann had created wearable technology that was so big, clunky and awkward that people would shy away from him when they saw him in the streets. While there are many positives to having a wearable piece of technology on your head, such as providing you with directions on where to go, reading text messages without looking down at your phone, vision enhancement, and even snapping photos with the blink of an eye, there could be an equal amount of negatives. Mann believes that having cameras so close to your eyes can hurt the user’s vision, stating, “My concern comes from direct experience. The very first wearable computer system I put together showed me real-time video on a helmet-mounted display. The camera was situation close to one eye, but it didn’t quite have the same viewpoint. . . . And those troubling effects persisted long after I took the gear off. That’s because my brain had adjusted to an unnatural view, so it took a while to readjust to normal vision.” (Mann, 2013). With most new technologies and inventions there are good, and there are bad. The good will be adjusted and the bad will be fixed. Mann also foresees video cameras being everywhere, and why not? We already have them in our TVs, computers and handful of other electronics. He believes that surveillance videos will be abused less if everyone would start to wear their own video-recording equipment. He stated, “To my mind, surveillance videos stand to be abused less if ordinary people routinely wear their own video-gathering equipment, so they can watch the watchers with a form of inverse surveillance” (Mann, 2013) .This is just another way that augmented reality equipment could be utilized in the near future. And maybe Mann is right. If everyone has their own form of video surveillance on them constantly than perhaps people would be reluctant to commit the crimes and acts of violence that is currently happening.

Augmented reality is an incredible technology with so many ways to use it. It allows for people to be more creative and add their own unique content to a physical space. And it allows people who are wearing that technology to see the world differently, literally. Augmented reality is an amazing technology that is so versatile and has appeal to so many ages and demographics. It assists, creates, entertains, and so much more.

Works Cited:

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.

Global mobile statistics 2014 Part A: Mobile subscribers; handset market share; mobile operators. (2014, May 16). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

Liao, T., & Humphreys, L. (n.d.). Layer-ed places: Using mobile augmemted reality to tactically reengage, reproduce, and reappropriate public space. New Media & Society, 1-18.

Ling, Rich and Donner, Jonathan. (2009). Mobile Communication. Malden, MA: Polity Press. Chapter 2, p. 30-48.

Mann, S. (2013, March 1). Steve Mann: My “Augmediated” Life. Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

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)