Augmented Reality: 

Unboxing Tech's Next Big Thing

Augmented Reality:
Unboxing Tech's Next Big Thing

Slated as ‘the next big thing in tech’, augmented reality promises to take the screen out of our hands and wrap it around the world via ‘smart spectacles’. As a pervasive, invisible interface between the world and our senses, AR offers unparalleled capacity to reveal hidden digital depths, but it also comes at a cost to our privacy, our property, and our reality.

In this crucial and provocative book, Mark Pesce draws on over thirty years’ experience to offer the first mainstream exploration of augmented reality. He discusses the exciting and beneficial features of AR as well as the issues and risks raised by this still-emerging technology – a technology that moulds us by shaping what we see and hear.

Augmented Reality is essential reading for anyone interested in the growing influence of this impressive but deeply concerning technology. As the book reveals, reality - once augmented - will never be the same.

What the experts are saying about Augmented Reality

"This is the story of how we came to live in an increasingly augmented reality and what this might mean for the future of being human, told by one of AR’s most brilliant and playful pioneers. Thrilling, scary, hopeful, and required reading."

Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now and Team Human

"A must-read for those who are both fascinated by digital technology and fearful of its implications. Mark makes a deeply technical topic accessible to any reader, and catalogs the key insights and innovations that led to where we are now: on the cusp of the most significant technological advancement in history – and possibly the most dangerously invasive and manipulative tool ever created."

Tony Parisi, VR pioneer and Head of AR/VR Ad Innovation at Unity Technologies

What the reviewers are saying about Augmented Reality

ZDNet UK: "That collision of technology with the physical world can be entertaining and inspiring, but it raises some major questions about who is building the interface between the physical and digital worlds, and who will get to control AR's annotations and overlays."  Read the full review.

AR Post: "Pesce’s vision of augmented reality as a tool that promises the best but may deliver the worst is expressed in terms that are sometimes hopeful, sometimes terrifying..." Read the review.

The Connector: "Pesce offers a vision of a different kind of future, the 'potential of a universal, revelatory informational transparency, each object illuminated from within by its digitally inscribed meanings.' The potential revelation of hitherto hidden facts or meanings can redistribute power."  Read the review.

Buy a copy of Augmented Reality at the Polity Press website - or at Amazon - or at your favourite bookseller!


We've created a series of videos exploring many of the topics in Augmented Reality - a technology that will transform daily life for nearly everyone within this decade.

Watch the whole playlist here.

Augmented Reality:
How far back does it go?

Augmented Reality:
How does it work?

augmented Reality:
What is Gaze Tracking -- And why does AR need it?

augmented reality:
Why would we add metadata to a location?

augmented Reality:
How does writing on space change us?

Sense in Place

The opening keynote for the National Trust of NSW annual awards ceremony in November 2020. A short trip down George Street in Sydney shows us that we already know how to annotate space - and points to how we will be using augmented reality at scale.

the AR Dilemma

Keynote for XR:WA December 2020 - covers several of the themes explored at length in Augmented Reality.