Lauren’s Top Tech Trend

Trendsters Jason Griffey and Lauren Pressley
Trendsters Jason Griffey and Lauren Pressley

Now that Top Tech Trends has happened, I can post about my trend. But before I get to that, I just want to say that I was especially honored to be part of a panel that included Amanda Etches-Johnson, Jason Griffey, David Walker, and Joe Murphy. It was a great group and I really enjoyed the conversation. But without anymore waiting, here’s my topic. There’s a lot of interesting potential here, but with limited time, this is what I covered:

Augmented Reality


  • The first augmented reality applications were used in the 60s or 70s.
  • The term “Augmented Reality” has been around since 1990.
  • AR is the idea of blending virtual data/information with what you see in the real world.
  • Mixed reality; conventionally in real-time
  • One definition: is both interactive and in real time, combines the real and virtual, and (sometimes) is displayed in 3D
  • Could think of it as: somewhere on the spectrum between the real environment and the virtual environment
  • Today: generally on smart mobile devices that use GPS, compass, and (possibly) image recognition technologies


tweets in my library
tweets in my library
  • Easiest to visualize
    • First  down lines in football
    • Colored trail behind hockey pucks
  • Location aware maps
  • Visual interfaces
    • Layar browser
    • Yelp social review site
    • Wikitude (overlays information from Wikipedia and other sources)
    • Twitter clients such as TwitARound
    • Acrossair (shows Twitter, bars, FedEx, wikis, photos, Yelp , etc)
    • A few AR games exist

2010 Horizon Report

  • Adoption 2-3 years out
  • Educational strengths: example, an augmented-reality application could overlay details about how a historical place looked during different eras in history.
  • Enables powerful contextual, situational learning experiences
  • Enables serendipitous exploration and discovery
  • Still not widely accessible
  • Today AR exists mostly for entertainment and marketing.

Potential For Libraries

  • NCSU’s WolfWalk: overlaying digital collections with map of campus
  • Can envision an application for inside the building, revealing “hidden” parts of the collection (both highlighting things on the shelves as well as showing where eresources would be found)
  • Library tour information: for users who need to understand what they can do at a desk once it’s closed or if they don’t want to ask if they’re not sure
  • Information literacy tutorials at the location where they might be needed (for example, using call numbers, or how to select the most useful article in the current periodicals room)
  • Really making a connection between the physical library as place and the virtual library on the web

Final Topic

We also talked about ebook readers. The topic I addressed was ownership vs. leasing content. I’m fairly certain we won’t have dedicated readers in the relatively near future (I like “relatively” here because it’s such a vague term), but there are a lot of obstacles to overcome in the meanwhile:

  • eInk is flat-out easier on the eyes to read than computer/iphone screens.
  • Battery life for eink displays is outstanding compared to most smartphones and laptops.
  • Books, as they are currently written, are designed to be an individual experience between the reader and the author.

Until some, or all, of these things change, I think there will be market space for ereaders. And during that time (and even after) I really think the idea of ownership is an important one. People have expectations about what they can do with their books, and ebooks, for the most part, do not allow the customer to do the thing they’re used to doing (such as loaning or selling). Though, all that aside, I’m totally psyched about my Nook that is arriving any day now. Part of the reason I am in the Nook camp? You can check out books from Overdrive and it has a model of “ownership” that is closer to what we typically think of.  I’m sure there will be many forthcoming blog posts on this topic!

So, that was my participation!! Thanks to those who came out. I really had a great time!

Update (1/25/10): In case you’re interested, Trendsters Amanda and Jason posted about their trends, too.

7 thoughts on “Lauren’s Top Tech Trend

  1. Augmented reality is definitely here to stay. .

    When eyeware becomes fully available for your mobile devise we are going to see Augmented reality fly at a pace beyond all other technologies.

    “As advances in technology continue, and we see an increase in smaller, more powerful devices, the barrier between man and machine via Augmented Reality via our Iphone , or Virtual Reality is not as farfetched as it was”

    The next big step in all this technology is going to be eyeware. We are all going to know almost everything about each other just from a glance. . . I don’t know if its going to be a great thing or a very bad thing???

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