Speculating on Overlay Tech (OT)




More and more we are bringing the machine out of the virtual world and overlaying it onto the real world. One of the more obvious examples of this is Google Glass and mapping. You can see the map before you as you drive which is much less invasive toward driving safety than looking down or over at your phone. Glass though, is only a very small step in bringing true OT (Overlay Tech) to the world at large.

Imagine a version of Glass with a full heads up display (HUD). Now, instead of seeing maps on a little screen, you instead see the navigation spread out before you in your full field of vision. Real world directions in 3D overlaying the physical world. Imagine that navigation line placing itself over the road. Imagine a turn arrow dancing in the air before you when it is time to make that turn.

real minority report interface

Now imagine sensor based notifications that analyze your location and pull information from GPS to bring up cards before you to highlight where things are or even what they are. Not just cards in a notification form or center, but when actually looking at the street before you the information is presented in card form next to or on the actual physical source.

With facial recognition you could walk up to someone, and above their head in your field of vision, there would be information displayed and pulled from their social site of choice. Doctors could put a name to the face of a patient for a more seamless and warm relationship. Real world MMO’s could be the next big thing with player/character info being displayed when playing the game.

Sports would change before your eyes. Imagine being at a baseball game and looking down on the diamond as every players name is displayed over their heads. Watch the speed of the ball pop up next to the pitcher with every pitch. When the ball is hit see the distance tracked with the ball as it soars for a home run. In Live Football, the players name would display as the ball changes hands. Follow the QB as they make the throw and then the receiver as they catch the ball and see the real time states evolve right in front of you. Going to a Live game would be more thrilling than ever before, especially for the stats kings.


Now imagine making a profit. Sell the side of a building for a massive building size ad. When the person looks at the building through their HUD they see it displayed in real time and in actual building size. No more ugly billboards to clutter the real world but instead digital overlay to keep things clean and changeable. Dealerships can place ads on their inventory so when someone is test driving a new car and then someone wearing an OT display sees the car in their field of view they can actively pull up the information on that vehicle right in front of them or just let it display automatically. Think about real time inside mapping for stores. Let the HUD access your grocery list and then check your list to the stores mapped inventory and just follow the directions displayed through each aisle to the products on your list.

There is an entire industry that could pop up around Overlay Tech from mapping to sports to advertising and so on. Glass is only the first step in that direction. As HUD’s become easier to integrate into actual lenses the possibilities become endless. OT is coming, and it will change the way we interact with the real world through our digital perception.

Jason Falter is a writer (Cyberpunk, Sci-Fi, Speculative Fiction, Noir), Blogger, IT guy during daylight hours. You can read more of his content on his website CodeCrackX15

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