Augmented Reality 

Through the Looking Glass


There was certainly a lot of hype leading up to the launch of Apple’s newest gadget, the iPad which was announced a couple of weeks ago. Almost everyone was predicting Apple was going to roll out this revolutionary device. But when Apple unveiled the iPad’s specs, I kinda sat there with a somewhat dumbfounded look that read “that’s it?” It felt like a giant bubble burst above my head of all these fantastic concepts that I, and others envisioned the iPad to be and all we were left with was this giant iPhone. Nevertheless, when it comes to revolutionary and the type of applications that the iPad and iPhone has the potential for, it always brings me back to Mac Funamizu’s amazing concept, the Looking Glass.


Mac Funamizu (Mac is his nickname – no relation to Apple) is the designer of this futuristic concept. He won the red dot design concept award for envisioning a world where we can carry this looking glass around with us and it would be able to layover digital information about real world objects on a clear transparent screen that seems to act both as a camera, and a display. Some of the applications for digitally layering information are found or are being developed on the iPhone (like the stargazing one), while other application concepts are just visionary.

Contextual Information




Speech to Text


Time Traveler


Diet Information


On-the-Fly Translator


Yes, I know it was too much to ask of Apple to come out with this design on their first generation iPad and that we (as in the world) still have some technological breakthroughs to make first before this happens. But, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch that we will one day carry around devices that Mac Funamizu has so greatly envisioned. Who knows – maybe this is the next generation iPhone or iPad or am I just dreaming again?

via Behance

3D Stop Motion with the iPad
A Sweet Augmented Reality
Word Lens Translates via Augmented Reality
See-through Circuits
  • http://www.vidafine.com ben

    the future iPad for sure! Apple is definitely going after this market!

  • Greenfourth

    Rather than a “looking glass” why not just a pair of glasses? With a display for each eye, near each eye, you can have a stereoscopic display allowing an overlay of 3-dimensional images.

    As far as interaction the most feasible option would be colored points on the fingertips though ideally it would be able to discern your hands from the background (and other peoples hands).

  • http://www.vidafine.com ben

    completely agree with you on the user interface. everything will be 'hand gestures anywhere in 3D space' rather than 'multi-touch on a capacitive surface'. in fact, some of these technologies are already there: http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thri

    i can also see more wearable electronics in the future, especially with advances in OLED and conductive polymers that are optically transparent and flexible. no idea what the timeline would be though, but these augmented reality glasses may come out sooner than we think =)

    i d be happy with the looking glass though! it'd be a big step forward (at least on the software side) thx for your input!