A new reality

I’m very excited at the moment. It’s only a couple of weeks until WWDC in San Francisco and I’m expecting some big announcements from Apple. The new Snow Leopard and iPhone 3.0 operating systems should be ready and a new iPhone model is pretty much guaranteed.

Among the new features already known to be on the third iteration of the iPhone will be video recording, an improved camera and a magnetometer or digital compass. It’s this last item that is the source of my anticipation. A device that knows where it is by using GPS, knows its orientation using accelerometers, knows which way it is pointing from the digital compass and knows what it can see through the camera should be able to do some amazing things – especially when you have large screen to display things on.

I’ve been more excited about this concept since watching this demonstration and playing with Sky Map on a colleagues Android G1. This kind of augmented reality, where virtual digital data is overlaid on top of what you actually see through your camera will be huge in the next five or so years.

The next logical step – though this is a good way away yet – will be to have the same technology available through wearable lightweight glasses and then on to a contact lens type system. This coupled with facial recognition will mean that you’ll never be unable to put a name to a face again!

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