More widespread and serious uses of augmented reality technology is a prospect that's not far off, and the latest research in the field aims to use 3D holographic images to aid the likes of surgeons when it comes to their jobs.
The Independent reports that details of this new research will be revealed at the Royal Society's summer science exhibition this week.
The idea is that holographic projections can be overlaid on the real world via AR headsets, giving surgeons extra insights in their field of vision during an operation, for example.
The AR headset itself will be a very lightweight affair, essentially just a small transparent slide which can display a hologram within the wearer's field of vision.
Simon Hall, who is the lead scientist in adaptive optics at the National Physical Laboratory, commented: “We’ve all seen Tony Stark’s view of the world when he wears his Iron Man suit – information about his world projected in his line of sight. Now we’ll be able to experience it for ourselves. We’ll be working with the developers of augmented-reality devices on a wide range of applications."
This AR tech could be used across many industries, and another example given is the firefighting profession, which could benefit from an overlaid infrared view of a room which is filled with smoke, for example.
Indeed, this sort of thing is already happening, as last year one enterprising fireman (and self-taught programmer) developed his own app for Google Glass Explorer that displays pertinent information such as building plans and where the nearest fire hydrants are when responding to an incident.