The following is an excerpt from the book: "What is Augmented Reality? Everything You Wanted to Know Featuring Exclusive Interviews With the Leaders of the AR Industry" by Yoni Binstock
Interview with Daniel Leighton
What excites you the most about augmented reality?
In general, it's that it makes new modes of expression possible. In terms of art, it allows the viewer to participate in it and allows the artist to expand the dimensions of the work. In my specific case, I've worked in several mediums - film, animation, painting - and I love that I can bring elements from all of these into my work. My decades of computer programming and database architecture experience also come into play, not only in the creation of my app but also in the art itself. In a recent example of this, I am using data from mass shootings in the US to alter animations within my AR-enhanced artwork.
What do you recommend for people who want to get into the AR field?
It depends what you are after. If you want to do something relatively simple, there are more and more resources to help you do that. I know artists who do great work with simple tools. But if you are going to do something that is groundbreaking and impactful, you will quickly grow hungry for more. It's going to take a lot of work and there will be frustrations, limitations, and an unending need to learn and experiment. So, first and foremost, make sure you are passionate about it. Your passion will provide you the energy and will to stick with it. In either case, start with googling - there's tons of information out there.
What are your predictions for the AR industry and technology in the next 2, 10, and 25 years?
AR is already more pervasive than most people realize and it will eventually be ubiquitous. In the present and short-term it will be on the windshields of our cars, and it will be more and more prominent in public advertising. Longer term it will inform our interactions with other humans, analyzing everything from facial expressions and physiology to automatic searches across the web and social media. First with glasses and eventually, perhaps, embedded in contacts or maybe even our bodies at some point. (I don't think I want this but some will.) I think of AR more like an operating system than a discrete technology. It will permanently change our relationship with information.
What do you think will be the positive and negative consequences of living in an augmented reality future?
There are a lot of possibilities, but as with any technology, it's all about how we use it. AR enables immersive experiences that can help us gain new insights and more empathy, and, ultimately, connect us more deeply to ourselves and others. We will be able to access more information more quickly than ever before, giving us the ability to make better, more informed decisions. But will we be able to trust the information we get and will we choose to connect more deeply? If the answer is no, we will become more isolated, our society will devolve and become more divisive. It's up to us. Humans must choose humanity. If we approach this with consciousness and love, we can create a better world together.
If there's anything else you'd like to share with my readers about the future of AR, what would you like to say?
Whether you're a developer or a consumer, I encourage you to make choices that create a more connected, more unified world with less unnecessary suffering. That is the potential of human beings with hearts and minds using technology for the greater good.
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