Paul Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of ITL
Augmented reality and I go way back, to when it burst on the scene in the early 1990s. As a technology reporter for the Wall Street Journal, I was a skeptic especially about virtual reality (where a headset provides an immersive experience unrelated to the physical world around the wearer) but also about augmented reality (where goggles add images or other information to what the wearer sees through the glasses).
In fact, while the VR/AR concept was clearly powerful, the technology wasn’t close to good enough yet to provide even a useful experience — the computing power in the devices was about one-millionth of what is available today, thanks to the exponential improvements in electronics.
In the last decade, enthusiasm returned. Facebook bought Oculus for $3 billion in 2014, when the VR company still barely even had a product. Pokemon Go had hundreds of millions of people in 2016 trying to “catch” Pokemon projected onto the real world via an AR app downloaded onto their phones. But interest faded again. VR/AR made only modest inroads, primarily in some video games.
Just in the past week, though, an announcement suggests that augmented reality may be close to becoming very real. There could be significant changes in how clients operate and, eventually, in how insurers themselves do business…. continue reading >