The Future of AR is… Sophisticated and Beautiful

This week, Wareable invited me to contribute to their Augmented Reality (AR) week feature. Here’s my vision for the future of AR:

“My prediction takes the form of my hopes and wishes for AR, and at its core what AR as an experience and a technology needs to be and do to truly advance.

The future of AR is sophisticated and beautiful. It enhances and is in sync with the physical world; it does not replace or supplant it. It does not overload; it aids and delights with elegance. It creates goodness, uplifting and enriching our lives. It ignites and invites curiosity and creativity. This is what we must strive for. May these new realities be deeply fulfilling and greatly benefit humanity.”

Thank you Wareable for including me and to each of the contributors for their thoughtful predictions. Read the full article here.

Last week, The Toronto Star interviewed me about the Art Gallery of Ontario’s (AGO) AR exhibit “Reblink.” I shared my thoughts on the importance of artists working with AR (which I go into more depth on in my book Augmented Human):

“Artists have the unique ability to take the ordinary and transform it into something extraordinary, and to show us the world in a completely new way. Augmented Reality does too. So AR and artists are a perfect match,” said Helen Papagiannis, an AR expert and author of Augmented Human: How Technology is Shaping the New Reality. “What’s next is an exploration of AR storytelling beyond just the visual: audio, touch, smell and taste.”

I can’t wait for you to read Augmented Human, in print in September 2017, or read the digital Early Release now. Here’s a post on why I wrote the book and who it’s for, with excerpts from the Preface.



Purchase Augmented Human from:
Amazon (USA)
Amazon (Canada)
Indigo (Canada)
Barnes and Noble (USA)

Here’s Why I Wrote Augmented Human

Excerpts from Augmented Human: How Technology Is Shaping the New Reality:

Why I Wrote This Book

Twelve years ago, I caught my first glimpse of the power of Augmented Reality (AR) as a new communication medium. It was pure magic: a virtual 3-D cube appeared in my physical surroundings and I was awestruck. The augmented cube demo wasn’t interactive at the time (it did nothing else other than appear), however, it ignited my imagination for how AR could grow and evolve. At that moment, I dedicated my creative work, research, and public speaking to the new experiences AR made possible.

I wrote this book because I began to witness a much needed shift from a focus on the technology alone to a push toward creating compelling content and meaningful experiences in AR. This book is about exploring those big ideas and the extraordinary new reality AR affords. Now is the time to dream, design, and build our wondrous future.

As AR advances, we must ask: How can we design AR experiences to enhance and make a user’s life easier and better? MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte said, “Computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living.” AR is no longer just about the technology, it’s about living in the real world, and creating magical and meaningful experiences that are human-centred. This book is about how AR will enrich our daily lives and extend humanity in unprecedented ways.

Who Should Read This Book

It’s not too often an entire new medium emerges. You should read this book if you’re a maker, a doer, and an explorer who is excited by creating a path where there is no trail, and want to contribute to this rapidly growing industry. You should also read this book as an informed consumer for a peek at the new experiences that will change the way we live, work, and play.

You are a designer, a developer, an entrepreneur, a student, an educator, a business leader, an artist, and a technology enthusiast curious about and excited by the possibilities AR presents. You are committed to designing and supporting AR experiences for the deepest of human values to have a profound impact on bettering humanity.


Purchase Augmented Human from:
Amazon (USA)
Amazon (Canada)
Indigo (Canada)
Barnes and Noble (USA)

Augmented Human is Now Available in Early Release

I’m thrilled to announce “Augmented Human: How Technology is Shaping the New Reality” is now available in Early Release from O’Reilly!

You are about to enter a new reality. Here, the world augments itself to you, morphing to your context, preferences, and needs. Reality becomes malleable, mutable, and highly personalized; it’s all defined and driven by you. The whole world becomes instantly translatable, breaking communication barriers, and creating a new sensory awareness that makes seeing, hearing, touching, and tasting brand new. The rules of the analog world no longer apply. Wearable computers, sensors, and intelligent systems are extending our human abilities and giving us super powers.

This is the new augmented reality. Are you ready?


With O’Reilly’s Early Release, you don’t have to wait for the print edition of Augmented Human (estimated August/September 2017, which you can also purchase from Amazon here) — you can read everything you want to know about Augmented Reality NOW! The Early Release of Augmented Human currently includes:

Chapter 1: A New Wave of Reality

Chapter 2: Seeing the World Anew

Chapter 3: Tactile Sensations

Chapter 4: Audio and Hearables

Chapter 5: Digital Smell and Taste

Chapter 6: Storytelling and the Human Imagination

We are at the beginning of a massive change in how we experience reality. This is a pioneering period of exploration and discovery for AR, and it’s going to be one wild ride.

I am beyond excited to share this book with you. I truly can’t wait for you to read it! Thank you dear friends for your support and inspiration over these past 12 years.

With gratitude,

Helen @ARstories