Cisco hops on AR bandwagon with retail demo, but don't expect to see this at your local Hollister anytime soon

October 15, 2009 by Dave Haynes 

A Cisco online video is drifting around sites like Wired and Digital Signage Today that shows how augmented reality, blended with digital signage, could change shopping experiences.

It shows a young woman going all Tom Cruise-y, like in that Spielberg movie I refuse to mention, flapping her arms and waving her hand to move things around a a screen/change-room mirror as she tries on clothes and even changes their colors virtually.

It is pretty cool, but some of the sites that are posting this video are referencing this as being in the here and now. It’s not, unless Cisco is months or years ahead of anybody else applying AR technology right now. That very slick, high production value Cisco video with the sound effects and acting talent is where it all might go, but the will be nowhere near as seamless as is shown. At least not yet.

This is from a company called Zugara and is probably a lot more reflective of what’s possible right now. This is still early stage stuff and what in the Cisco video fits perfectly on the actress in today’s reality looks more like a paper cutout held in front of someone.

That said, I think somebody at Cisco is being quite smart about jumping on the AR bandwagon, as it is undeniably compelling and will generate a lot of noise, regardless of whether or not this is all futures stuff and whether or not the final versions will work like this. There is an event framing hooked to this video set for next week, and somewhat tellingly, it is organized out of the Borderless Networks group, which is all about IT infrastructure, not digital signage.  

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