VAST Media

I have been following the Augmented Reality (AR) scene for some time. If you are not familiar with AR, I highly recommend Ori Inbar’s website, GamesAlfresco.com, which has a great overview and ongoing coverage on the subject. Another great mind covering the AR scene is Robert Rice, who recently posted his of what AR will bring in an article called “Augmented Vision and the Decade of Ubiquity.

Here is an excerpt:

“2010 to 2020 will become The Decade of Ubiquity. Not only will Level 3 become a reality, but the advent of this will spawn entirely new industries, professions, and hundreds of thousands of jobs. The impact of L3 will be equal to or greater than the effect of the Internet and the Web combined. Nearly every industry will change in some way, and L3 technologies will have a dramatic effect on our day to day lives, jobs, education, entertainment, culture, politics, society, and so on. Even newspapers will evolve and reinvent themselves. Today’s web designers and artists will become holoscape designers…”

Both Robert and I have started to use the term “VAST Media” to descibe this new landscape. I had initially suggested VAST to Robert as a term to express Virtual, Augmtented, Simulated, Tansformative Media. Robert started to use it instantly, but changed the “T” from Transformative to represent Technology, believing not all tech is transformative.

The term VAST seems to also cover media that goes beyond the 2D web… it has a geospatial feel to it, and AR gets very exciting when introduced into the environment and world around us. The term also expresses the immense opportunity and grandness of this burgeoning space.

If you are involved in creating virtual worlds, augmented reality or other simulated technologies, feel free to embrace this term if you like it. New Media, Digital Media, and even Emerging Media dont cover this world very well, but VAST Media gets much more specific. Let’s see if this sticks!

I have started to post some fun AR videos over at vastmedia.tumblr.com.

There are some very exciting experiments being done now, and even a few commercial products coming out (Topps, Lego, Toyota…). 2009 and especially 2010 are looking to be banner years for VAST Media to truly emerge and get mainstream attention.

I must also give credit to the iPhone as being a real game changer here… smartphones with their touch screens, built in cameras and accelerometers allow for unique location-based applications, and provide a “magic lens” if you will into a new realm… a realm where our reality is augmented and the possibilities are vast.

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