AR Could Be Bigger Than Smartphones By 2026, Peter Jackson Says

"Mixed reality doesn't take you out of this world. Instead, it adds elements to our real world."

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Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is optimistic about the future of the augmented reality market. He said in a new interview that he's far more interested in augmented reality than virtual reality, in part because, with AR, the user can experience the real world and the virtual one at the same time.

"I find mixed reality much more exciting than VR," he told Wired. "Mixed reality doesn't take you out of this world. Instead, it adds elements to our real world. And it has great flexibility. You can add as little as you want--a single tiny figure on this tabletop talking to us--or you can replace the walls of this room with a skyscape so we're sitting here watching clouds float by."

Jackson sits on the advisory board panel for the secretive Florida-based startup Magic Leap, whose AR technology looks stunning. Today, Magic Leap released its latest video, titled "A New Morning." It shows what a person's morning routine might look like in the future if AR technology takes hold.

Also in the interview, Jackson talked about how AR has near-limitless potential application, adding that he believes AR technology like Magic Leap may become more popular than smartphones in the next decade.

"If you have your Magic Leap glasses on, you can look up at the Empire State Building and watch it being built in the early 1930s, floor by floor, but sped up," he said. "Maybe while you are walking around the modern streets of Chicago you see gangsters driving past with tommy guns. It could be a form of education, entertainment, and tourism.

"In 10 years, I expect that mixed-reality technology like Magic Leap will be used as much as, if not more than, smartphones."

You can read the full Wired story here.

Magic Leap isn't the only company investing in the AR space. Microsoft's HoloLens headset is moving forward, too, as Microsoft recently announced that the $3,000 developer versions of the device are shipping to select developers now. GameSpot tried a Halo HoloLens demo at E3 and found it to be quite impressive.

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