Additionally, the development of Taggar on wearable devices – we were the first AR platform to collaborate with Google Glass – will create all kinds of interactive content for users to see, just by looking at the objects around them. Just by looking at a router, users will see an overlay of which cables to plug where, or looking at a recipe book could trigger a video of the recipe that a user sees in their field of vision whilst cooking.
TRP: Is Taggar the next step in AR? What do you see are the next important developments in the field?
CG: One development that looks set to explode AR into the mainstream is the growth in wearable devices. Smartphones may be fantastic, but they introduce an unnatural division between us and the real world – pulling your phone out your pocket every time you want to look something up, or entering text-based searches and receiving text-based answers: this just isn't how we're going to be interacting with information in the future.
As hardware is becoming increasingly refined, and computer vision algorithms get more and more powerful, we'll soon see a world where wearables like smart watches and glasses become widespread. When that time comes we'll see an AR revolution which knits technology with our everyday lives - information will be overlaid directly into our field of vision automatically, without the restrictions that a hand-held screen places on us.
TRP: What is Mike Lynch's involvement with the platform?
CG: Taggar was fortunate enough to receive investment from Mike Lynch's fund, Invoke Capital, who share Taggar's vision for the future of AR. Mike acts as both investor and advisor to Taggar, whilst the rest of the management team at Invoke Capital play a very hands-on role in supporting our development. The Invoke team is made up of the people that took Autonomy from a small Cambridge start-up to a world-class software company – to have their constant advice and management support is every start-up's dream!
TRP: What's next for Taggar?
CG: We'll be seeing some exciting collaborations with some of the music industry giants, as well as expanding the cultural reach of Taggar into the art scene. In fact, we're going to be taking some inspiration from the art world, which Taggar users will see appearing in the app very soon!
On the hardware front, we're scaling up our work on wearables, combining multiple recognition algorithms to make wearables incredibly powerful, and providing devices with the ability to access our cloud so that they'll be able to recognize over a million objects in the world around them.