These days I have had the opportunity to see some predictions that the prestigious consulting firm Gartner did for the year 2012 through a methodology developed by its consultants, called “Hype Cycle”. The Hype Cycle is a graphic representation of different technologies maturity and adoption levels. It is divided in five phases:
Technology Trigger — The first phase of a hype cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or any other event generating significant media coverage and arising interest.
Peak of Inflated Expectations — In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.
Trough of Disillusionment — Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology.
Slope of Enlightenment — Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.
"Plateau of Productivity" — A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as its benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market.
One of the technologies analyzed by Gartner is the Augmented Reality that according to the Hype Cycle is nowadays in the “Trough of disillusionment” lacking still five years in order to reach the “Plateau of Productivity”, that is to say , it failed to meet the expectations placed on it.
Just four or five years ago, when it was in the “Peak of inflated expectations” it was going to be a revolution in the geolocation applications, it has became just only one more feature. The development companies have clearly opted by the pattern recognition features, which allows to enrich printed publications with multimedia information and to develop marketing campaigns.
It seems that geolocation applications don´t allow to develop viable business models, because of the scarce value added for the users, which once the novelty wears off, they are no longer interested in checking information across their mobile phones cameras.
Perhaps the interest recovery will come thanks to new devices such as Google Glass or thanks to the addition of relevant information as shown in this Bentleyprototype, in which a sewerage system is shown, although, according to Gartner, we will still have to wait some years Augmented Reality broad adoption.