AR: From ‘How To’ to ‘Can Do’

As anyone who has ever tried to figure something out knows, YouTube is the go-to place for ‘how to’. Want to fix a computer? Scramble eggs? Wire a house? Shoot a ‘how to’ video? You can find instructions on YouTube. They won’t all be very good, but they’ll be there.

What’s next? Once augmented reality (AR) goes mainstream, the whole thing could change massively. Instead of browsing through five videos to find the trick to changing the belt on your vacuum cleaner, you will be able to choose from five people to guide you in real time from ‘how to’ to ‘can do’.

They won’t even have to be in your half of the world. They just have to speak your language well enough for you to understand them.

And how will you find these ‘can do’ consultants? Well, that is where it gets interesting. Consider that:

  • Google owns YouTube, the far away leader in ‘how-to’ videos
  • The leader in the (nascent) AR field right now is Microsoft with its HoloLens product
  • The leader of Microsoft sees the cloud as his company’s future

Why would Microsoft help jump start a can do community, only to send that community over to arch competitor Google? Wouldn’t it be better to start its own cloud-based service integrated with its HoloLens product? And since the can-do consultants would want to charge something for their help, there would also be a natural integration with a cloud based payments system. Microsoft set up “Microsoft Payments” last year.

AR is going to be a major disruptor. More to come.