Augmented Reality and the Need for Agility from Lawyers and the Law


Augmented Reality (aka Mixed Reality’ or ‘4D’) is something of a revolution generating novel and additional means to include information in and onto existing everyday reality by way of enhancement, supplementation or variation. The possibilities are all but boundless. The opportunities range from games, sport, medicine, education, art, music, sound effects, sport, technology, to name but a few.

Many applications of it in the market already and operate on smartphones.

While it may be difficult for many to accept or even like, the Augmented Reality developments such as the introduction to the mass market of a pair of Augmented Reality Glasses are becoming increasingly real. Experiences appear as though they are really there

Google and others are presently trialling such devices (Google Glass) and expects that they will be introduced to the mass market within a year or two.

Google GLASS, the Vuzix M100 and Meta Reality 3D glasses are just the first generation of heads-up-displays that will augment a digital reality in and on the world around us: personal, measurable, recordable and instantly shareable.

Other manufacturers are also bringing similar products to the market.

One can expect the worldwide mainstream population to be wearing these strange looking glasses regularly.

 I , expect the innovations in the AR technology to be fast, followed closely by related legal issues such as disputes, notably, privacy issues and IP rights including trademarks, to name but two.

“The Law will need to be developed much faster than usual to deal with the issues which will arise. For instance:-

 AR might allow perceived variation of an artwork or photograph which may raise moral rights issues additional to copyright issues;

  1. Will the taking of photos of recording of a person unobtrusively raise privacy issues? If so, how will that be dealt with?; and
  2. If use of an AR device distracts its user and the user or, worse, someone else is injured, how will liability fall?
  3. Will they be considered as distractions to driving as are mobile telephones?

 Hopefully, Government will move faster to deal with the issues than was the case with the facilitation of electronic transactions in the 1990s”.