Why do we always conform to our habits and never follow through? How do we
stop compromising our growth for what we find to be convenient? I believe augmented reality (AR) is the tool for self-improvement.
According to Forbes, only eight per cent of us will keep our New Year's resolutions. Why is that? Many of us want to start exercising, stop procrastinating or start saving money; others want to quit
smoking and drink less... but for most of us, these grand new plans will be abandoned three weeks down the line.
There are millions of studies and books written on self-improvement and motivation, such as The Power of Habit and You Can Heal Your Life. This continuous need to improve ourselves
and our constant failure at doing so have created a self-help industry now worth $11 billion.
When I was eight years old, I saw an anime film called Akira. It's set in the future in Tokyo, Japan, and features things like flying cars and holograms and the equivalent of what we call augmented reality (AR). AR is a technology that superimposes computer-generated content on a user's view of the real world -- real-life holograms such as those in Akira.
Since I saw this movie in the late 1980s, I have been imagining the world we would one day live in. Fast forward to today and AR is now in its infancy stage, but its potential is huge. It is estimated that the AR industry will be worth $117 billion within the next six years. Samsung has already filed a patent for "smart" contact lenses that superimpose digital images in your physical world like nutritional information, the weather, pictures or anything you want.
Here are some examples of how AR, above any other technology, could be the key to breaking bad habits and the future of self-improvement.
Imagine, you're sitting on your couch, craving some late-night snacks, wearing your AR device. You walk to your fridge and open it: an icon appears telling you just how much heavier you'll get if you eat that piece of cake in front of you.
Or it's Sunday night and you forgot to complete a task for work. All of a sudden, your boss's picture comes up right in front of your eyes, telling you to get it done.
Trying to stop smoking? Get a real-time reminder of the total money you've saved by not smoking that day, and the additional days you've added to your lifespan.
Where people have always struggled to keep their promises, an augmented reality future truly leaves no room for excuses.
In the next years, omnipresent digital content and wearable devices could be game changers for the self-help industry. AR powered devices have the potential to help us break bad habits and adopt good ones in the same way our mothers taught us as children.
AR could change the world with its enormous potential for self-growth and self-improvement -- keeping our New Year's resolution in a much easier way and circumventing the failure of human willpower.
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