As I sit in the ISMAR panel on “the future of AR”, I’m reminded of work I did with Rob Kooper (a former student in my lab) back around 2000, the final publication of which was here:
Kooper, R., & Macintyre, B. (2003). Browsing the real-world wide web: Maintaining awareness of virtual information in an AR information space. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 16(3), 425-446.
The idea behind the real-world wide web (admittedly, not a great name) is to create a wearable AR interface to the web; the fundamental assumption on which it is based was that you could author and query information based on location, not just content. In that work, we brought up a lot of issues that would need to be addressed to make such an interface work, to make it safe and to make authoring and query practical.
The world has changed a lot; Web 2.0 has arrive; mobile phones are powerful; RSS feeds, user-generated content and social networking are concepts familiar to a large part of the digital society. And now, the AR community is finally starting to turn toward this problem.