Cisco Blogs

Expanding Your Field Of Vision

August 28, 2009 - 4 Comments

Pleased to have a guest author this week, Dan Gerson the new content manager for Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual. Dan has been sharing a lot of interesting articles and blogs on augmented reality. After reading some of these I have been totally inspired, the future is now people! Dan was kind enough to provide a write-up on this topic…

Advances in computer and mobile technology have placed vast amounts of information at our finger tips. This knowledge, however, still lives within the confines of our TVs, laptops, and smartphones. New technology known as Augmented Reality aims to bridge the gap between the virtual world and the real world. imageThe concept is not new; Hollywood has depicted versions of augmented reality in many films, including our own Governator, in 1984’s The Terminator. The technology exists as an overlay, injecting relevant data and elements into the real world around us, in real time. If you have watched a football or hockey game in the past few years, chances are you have see elements of augmented reality. The floating yellow first down and the trailing puck are both examples of real-time visual elements displayed over real world images. Augmented Reality Today While the reality of owning a pair of digital glasses or contact lenses might be a few years away, some industries are taking hold of the technology today. Smartphone developers are building applications that will allow an augmented view of the surrounding environment using the built-in camera. These applications, while still in early phases, are showing the possibilities of viewing live data streams in new ways. There is a definite “wow-factor” involved when playing with the technology and it’s no surprise that the advertising industry has taken augmented reality under its wing. Check out this demo for the new movie District 9, in which you print a postcard and place it in front of your computer’s webcam. The action figure springs to life, and you are able to control this hologram-like image using your keyboard and mouse.

Moving the image closer or farther from the laptop creates true perspective as the object seems to actually exist in front of you. Expect to see a lot more of this type of promotion throughout 2010. Cisco Augmentations Many concepts come to mind when thinking about how Cisco can leverage this new technology, but in this post I will focus on two. Telepresence Augmentations Telepresence seems like a natural adaptation for augmented reality technology. Imagine being in a Telepresence meeting discussing the technical layout of a multipoint VPN. An engineer places a marker on the table, and instantly they are watching a three-dimension Visio drawing of the network architecture come to life. Packet flow, access lists, firewall rules, all become active elements within the virtual element. Engineers could add a switch here, open a port there, all while leveraging the live data from existing Cisco tools. Given the complex nature of IP networks, this seems like a natural fit, not to mention the possible applications for sales teams. Virtual Event Augmentation As the proliferation of virtual events continues, leveraging new ideas and technologies becomes key to distinguishing your events from others. Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual has proven to be a leader in the virtual event space, by focusing on technology and customer needs. Using Augmented Reality, we can bring the world of Cisco directly onto the customers desk. By going beyond the PowerPoint and leveraging AR technologies, demonstrations of VOIP, VPN, and multicast can take on a whole new perspective. How about John Chambers delivering his famed keynote in 3D right next to your keyboard? These technologies can create a one-to-one relationship between the brand and the customer, which is the continuing goal of the Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual group. Dan Gerson, Cisco Live and Networkers Virtual Content Manager

This is really exciting and opens the door to a wide realm of possibilities as relates to ‘virtual reality’! The augmented reality floodgate is open and one can only anticipate there will be many revelations and break throughs coming our way soon.

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  1. is link to the idea that we’re running with…this page has only been up now for 1 week…we’re going to release a video of where we are going…im hoping to make it purely open source as i think it is that important

  2. Darren thanks for sharing. Virtual Augmentation definitely holds a lot of promise for how individuals will interact and digest information.

  3. We’ve been working on developing augmented reality for network security. We’ve built apps for cisco’s Pix/Asa and now working on cisco’s IPS and PIX/ASA for augmented reality…im hoping to tie it in to our soi product…I really think this is the future of security visualization

  4. It both exciting and alarming to think what the future holds given the quantum leaps technology is making.