Augmented reality, the technology responsible for the hit Pokémon Go app, is being adapted for use in ceiling luminaires. The technology will allow users to control lighting via hand gestures, as first reported by our sister publication LEDs Magazine.
Speaking at Cisco Live in Las Vegas, Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's development of Internet of Things related projects, said that augmented reality could mark the next phase in the controlling of light.
AR is in some ways a better way to interact with the environment. And it is a richer way to display content and information.
AR uses digital technology to add visual objects to someone's real-world field of vision or to a live video screen display.
In Pokémon Go, the game’s eponymous heroes appear amid our own reality via a mobile phone’s camera display.
In the lighting world AR would allow someone wearing specially equipped eyewear to see an interactive lighting panel in front of them. It would also allow users to gesture at a particular fixture within a room to alter its light level.
'In my home I have this incredibly complex system of connected lighting and heating all reliant on little remote control devices,' Trollope commented.
'I'd rather just look at the object to control it. You can't do that today, but with AR you could. AR is in some ways a better way to interact with the environment. And it is a richer way to display content and information.'
The electronics and sensors that support AR could, one day, sit within luminaires and vendors are starting to catch on. Some have started to add sensors to their luminaires already, so adding AR-capable sensors in the future would not be a jump into the unknown.
Pokémon Go, since its launch, has gone on to become one of the most downloaded apps of all time and currently has more registered users than Twitter or Instagram.