Augmented reality will “reinvent” many industries, including health care and training, Mr. Inbar predicted. Already, researchers at the Technical University of Munich are looking at ways to display X-ray and ultrasound readings directly on a patient’s body. A research project at BMW is exploring how an augmented-reality view under the hood might help auto mechanics with diagnostic and repair work.
In the short term, the industry that may have the most to gain from augmented reality is gaming. Although video games have traditionally pulled players out of the real world and into a virtual one, augmented-reality games have the potential to “engage people in the real world in a different way,” said Daniel Sánchez-Crespo, a project leader at Novarama, a game developer based in Barcelona. “It finds a new meaning for space. Your kitchen counter is not just where you prepare dinner; it can be a virtual racetrack for a car game.”