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Lately I've been reading a lot about augmented reality...mostly as it relates to smartphone apps and how it's going to converge with location-based apps to create a cataclysm of earth-shattering proportions.  Okay, might be some hyperbole there, but you get the picture.

Anyway, it's made me spend some time daydreaming about how these technologies might affect the direction of online communities...(start Wayne's World dream sound effect and wiggly fingers here...doodlydoodoodlydoo)

I woke up this morning and sat down at my kitchen counter with coffee, putting my placemat-sized flexible media screen on an easel in front of me.  I waved my hand over it to turn it on, and said, "visit GaGaJoyJoy community."  A hologram of several connecting rooms filled with a buzzing crowd of avatars opens.  I disable sound because I'm not a morning person.  A bubble above one of the avatars says "hey Rosemary!"  Oops, forgot I wasn't invisible.  I snap my fingers and a semi-transparent control panel pops up to the right of the rooms.  I drag my finger down through the air and select "stealth mode."  I still want to talk to my friend, though, so I grab her avatar and drag it into one of the empty rooms.  I use the light-projected keyboard on the counter to say, "good morning Coleen!"  We catch up on gossip for a while, and then a new hologram that looks like a video screen pops up.  Apparently my mom just posted video of my nephews skiing.  I touch the video hologram and it starts playing.  Coleen knows my family, so I decide to drag the video into the room with Coleen's avatar.  A bubble appears...Coleen wants to know where they're skiing.

When we're done chatting, I decide I want to start a new topic in the US TV lounge, so I pinch the room closed.  I touch the US TV lounge room and start typing about the latest Lost episode.  As the automated tag cloud shows up in the hologram, one of them says "embed episode from Hulu." I touch the tag, and content related to Lost is embedded in my topic.  Once the topic is posted, I can see a cluster of avatars move over to it as they're reading it...

<end dream sequence>

This is pretty fun to think about...anyone else wondering what communities will look like in a few years?


I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.

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