Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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April 27, 2012

Augmented Reality and Crisis Communications: Evolution of “wearable” technologies

We are seeing an evolution to not only social media within crisis communications, but these new mediums are adding an additional layer of information for users to review information and share/curate to others involved.

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Augmented reality technologies have been around for a while now, and they are probably one of the growing trends we are seeing in the new mobile technology specialization areas within crisis communications.  This is actually going to be one of the focuses in my presentation at the pre-conference this year on Mobile Technologies at the International Communication Association Annual Conference.

Of course,  we have to always look at what is ahead for crisis communications, and see mobile as not only a smartphone or tablet – but it can be other alternative devices that people can wear to transform into a new medium entirely and looking to go mainstream.

We are seeing a  rising trend when you are looking at augmented reality specifically is of course wearable technologies.  With the creation of Google glasses, we can see this as a way to get additional information directed towards the crisis communicator based on visual recognition.  In addition, we can use this form of technology in a disaster situation to get reassurance and additional insights into the situation.

While this technology could be used to initiate education training exercises and simulations, we have to continue having these discussions in the academic and professional community to determine how to best implement these technologies.

New emerging risks and challenges may arise with this – the increase of noise and distraction based on these technologies can cause more neglect and a decrease of etiquette and manners.  Plus, what happens if these technologies fail and get to the point where people are just used to having all of this information available to them?  In addition, breakdown in technology and lack of education and training with this technology also need to be taken into consideration.  Future discussion needs to take place among both practitioners and researchers to try to answer these questions.

Hope you all are having a great day.

Best Wishes,

Karen

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