Augmented Reality


Augmented Reality (AR) became a better known buzz-word last week when Qualcomm announced it was diversifying into AR chips.

AR combines artificial vision with object recognition, so you can point a device at an object and it tells you something useful about the object.


Knowing how flaky this sort of technology can be, you can expect some horrible results:


You point it a building and it tells you it’s a public lavatory, and you walk in and find it’s the Women’s Institute.


You point it at some berries and it tells you they’re blackcurrants but that twitching you feel after you’ve scoffed a few is because they’re deadly nightshade.


You point it at a pub and it tells you it has Timothy Taylor Landlord and you walk in and find it’s been taken over by Greene King.


Watch out.





  1. good to see that a blog piece on Augmented Reality has turned into a discussion of which is the best reality augmentation product known to mankind 🙂
    As for IPA, I never touch it. Beer needs to be served fresh.

  2. I know Abbot tastes b. awful in my pub in Ewell – about 100 miles from Bury St Edmunds, Mike, so the general rule must be that beer needs to be drunk fresh and doesn’t travel, but the specific rule is that, if it’s brewed specifically for the purposes of travel, like IPA, then it should travel and needn’t be drunk fresh. The testing criteria must differ.

  3. Fortunately Greene King Abbot Ale remains to its true standard … provided you drink it within about 50 miles of the brewery in Bury St Edmunds it possibly one of the best pints around.

  4. Indeed, Stooriefit, as one brought up in Burton-on-Tent I can vouch for your experience of Pedigree – but it was just the same for Worthington which was my tipple. And I’m sure you’re right about the flavour/ABV ratio.

  5. I hadn’t connected the soulessness of the place with the brewer, but it certainly rings true.
    IPA is hard to do wrong (although Flowers make a good fist of it if the last pint I had is representative) given that it was designed to be robust enough to ship halfway around the world under sail alone! IPA is the complete oposite of Marstons Pedigree, which is in my experience nectar within 20 miles of Burton, and of rapidly decreasing quality the further away you get.
    I think an interesting test of a brewer is can they make a good mild – easy enough to make a beer with plenty of flavour if you let its ABV creep up above 4.5%, but much more of a challenge if you are aiming for 3.8%.

  6. My beef with Greene King, Stooriefit, is not necessarily the beer – when their IPA is well kept it’s pretty good – my beef is that they have 5000 managed pubs and seem to keep their managers under the most onerous restrictions as regards guest beers, and then suck the maximum revenues out without putting anything back in the form of decor/repairs/promos etc. That’s why Greene King pubs, and often their managers, always seem so depressing to me.

  7. On the more important aspect of this thread – I had some Greene King mild in the Cotswolds a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was a dodgy pint initially, but – seeing as I didn’t barf – it must have just been that special something that Greene King bring to their beer.
    Current favourite is “Bitter and Twisted” from the Harviestoun brewery in Alva.

  8. Spot on, Luke, Greene King pubs always depress the heck out of me.

  9. It’s the Greene King you’re really worried about, isn’t it?

  10. During a chat with a friend earlier this week, we extoled the virtues of Flight Tracker websites and the like. We also realised that the technology is already in place for one to be able to point a smart phone at an airliner in the sky (using the camera, GPS, accelerometer and compass data) and get information on its route, schedule and even its passengers (if you happen to be from MI5 and have access to the right data …) overlayed on the image of the plane itself.
    Impressive and scary in equal measure.

  11. Interesting Stooriefit. There’s a thing called an SBS Radar box you can buy and put on your roof to identify passing planes, see:
    To have that capability via a smartphone is pretty amazing.

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