One of the “sub trends” of this year’s CEATEC exhibition (that’s currently taking place near Tokyo) is augmented reality, especially among the telecommunications companies. Japan’s biggest mobile carrier NTT Docomo is experimenting with an AR technology (developed by Olympus in 2008) called AR Walker.
What’s special about the hardware is that it’s small and light, that Olympus is offering it in three different versions (all pictured in this post) and that it already works. What Docomo showed at their booth was an AR-powered mapping application (that helps you finding your way when you’re lost somewhere, for example), with digital annotations and icons popping up in front of your eyes.
But it’s also possible to use the AR Walker when doing sport. For example, when you run, it can show you how many calories you burnt, how fast you go or provide information about the route ahead.
This is the “standard” version:
This is the version attached to glasses:
And here’s the “stylish” version:
When asked if the technology is ever going to be commercialized, the friendly people at the Docomo booth told me they and Olympus are still discussing it.
It’s hard to give you an idea of how the AR Walker works through video, but the following (short) clip I shot the Docomo booth at least shows how the device looks on people using them: