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According to a recent study conducted by Google called Our Mobile Planet smartphone penetration has risen to 44% of the US population and people are increasingly becoming reliant on these smartphones. Some of the key figures from the report suggest that 66% access internet daily on their smartphone and mobile search, video app usage, and social networking are prolific. 86% use their smartphone while doing other things (prominent amongst this was watching TV (52%). 33% of the people are willing to give up Television than their smartphone. People use smartphones virtually from sending a simple text to accessing local information and in most cases making online purchases. All this useful data suggests even to a layman that smartphones are here to stay and for a long time.

However in this world of ever changing technology and people quickly getting bored of what is the “next big thing” today would something phase out the giant smartphone has quickly become?

A few weeks ago Google announced Project Glass to develop an augmented reality head mounted display aka. HMD which would more or less display information like a smartphone format, interact with the internet and more importantly enhance the view of reality by providing useful information to the user.

For critics who thought that Google Project Glass demo by sky divers was nothing else than a mere exaggeration and an unrealistic step for near future, a patent filed by Microsoft should leave no doubts that surely this direction in technology is one for the future. Unwired View on Thursday uncovered a US patent application (20120293548), which covers HMD which provides supplemental information when a user is viewing a LIVE event. Unlike project Glass which is for day wide use Microsoft’s patent describes a HMD which the user can put on for specific events. For example you go to watch a baseball or a soccer game the HMD can provide you supplement information about the player, statistics and other social networking capabilities such as location check in or posting that information to a social network.

Consider the other myriad number of possibilities that we can add on top of this development.

  • Using augmented reality in our HMD user can enhance product previews by seeing what’s inside the package of a product without opening it, checking consumer reviews for any product that’s in sight, customize the product and check additional images online or merely place an order without the hassle of standing in lines or fiddling with PC or smartphone.
  • For people who go online and check Yelp ratings for places. AR with HMD can provide enhance user experience when travelling by providing them historical insights about the place, other traveler reviews, time of operations and user pictures for the place within the comfort of their car seat.

These are just a couple of examples if you think how such AR can shape up route navigation, watching videos, enhanced consumer experience when shopping in stores,  connecting with world using social networks, and built in video chat apps such as Skype who would seriously want the hassle of carrying a smartphone around with them?