True innovation is rarely the result of new technology. No, true innovation comes from an insightful application of new technology.

This is the reality facing innovators in augmented reality (AR).

Mixed-reality technologies could have as great an impact on how we operate within society as social media had, perhaps even more so. My particular interest lies in how these “reality technologies” can change how we learn and how we operate as informed citizens and consumers.

The immersive nature of AR can give us unprecedented access to information to make informed decisions. An overlay of relevant data at the point-of-action can help us determine how to make the best values-based decisions for ourselves, based on the information that is most relevant to us. For example, most of us buy our food. Some, however, make these purchasing decisions based on the ethical practices of the brand, for example, or on the nutritional value of the food itself, or perhaps we buy purely based on price-point. AR can tailor the information available to consumers, at the point-of-purchase, based on the parameters set by by the individual. This holds true for any purchasing decision, from clothes, to media, to cars, to…well, anything.

Along these same lines, we can apply this information-enriched scenario to even the most conventional educational environments. Augmenting text books, creating immersive virtual locations in the classroom, employing role play and personalized curriculum, is just the beginning of how AR can reinvent these basic systems. Without requiring any major changes to current structural designs or basic curriculum standards or hardware integration, AR offers the possibility of reinvention through incremental, non-disruptive innovation.

I will be speaking on this more in coming posts, as it has ignited a new vision of possibility within me. As a futurist and trend watcher, I can see several emerging innovations that could radically update our current systems. Augmented reality being one of them.

Stay tuned….