The end of Hardware
3rd Edition, 2009:
Augmented Reality and Beyond

Drag those windows from your screen and into the air in front of you. Use a simple glance to switch lights, open doors and surf the web. Set up a virtual TV on any wall, a holodeck in your own living room. See through objects and see informations about objects. See directions from your car navigator, painted straight onto the road. Replace that tired view from your window with the perfect one. And just for fun, take your light sword and fight phantoms in the streets … until they lock you away.

Virtual hardware, virtual objects will surround us, anywhere. It will be like magic. A single piece of real hardware will do it all, replace anything. Technology is ready for it, right now.

Personal Augmented Reality will inevitably develop a momentum as unstoppable as Personal Computing did, several decades ago. Back then, white-coated switch panel gurus were predicting computers would always be far too expensive and complex for Joe Average to use. Today, the same lack of imagination and vision, especially in the area of hardware, leads to a similar baseless skepticism about Augmented Reality.

This book is more than popular science - it is a blueprint for an entire technology, and it is addressed to both 'interested public' and 'technology experts' alike. It explains the technology, applications and consequences, talks about 'vision technology' and technology visions, demonstrates advanced approaches to the everyday use of virtual objects and devices, greatly exceeding the capabilities of any physical archetypes.

In addition, a fiction section will help the reader visualize a hands-on experience of Augmented Reality right now

Rolf R. Hainich is an experienced researcher with a focus on Augmented Reality and other related fields. His career covers academic and industrial R&D (real time computer networking and processing, media technology, optics, and sensors). He was chief consultant in public R&D funding programs, engaged in venture capital, supervised several high tech companies.
Beginning in the early 90's, he developed his ideas on augmented reality with an emphasis on virtual devices, wrote papers and studies, which included "Integrative 3D Visualization", 1994, already outlining the full spectrum of AR.
In 2006 he published the 1st edition of this book, centered mainly on the technologies required for AR, and possible solutions.

This new edition has been greatly extended, with many original new ideas and materials.


Read a foreword by Oliver Bimber,
Professor of Augmented Reality at Bauhaus-University Weimar

Rolf R. Hainich:  The End of Hardware
3rd Ed.: Augmented Reality and Beyond
416 pages, 245 illustrations

Topics: Augmented Reality; Virtual Reality; 3D;
Mobile Computing; Media Technology; Holography

For free e-book download and bonus materials

click here

Hardcopy (B/W paperback print) available at


1st edition: The End of Hardware - A Novel Approach to Augmented Reality.
ISBN 1-4196-3036-9. 250 pages. March, 2006
2nd edition: The End of Hardware - A Novel Approach to Augmented Reality.
ISBN 1-4196-5218-4 300 pages. October, 2006

3rd edition: The End of Hardware - Augmented Reality and Beyond.
ISBN 1-4392-3602-X. 416 pages. May, 2009



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Copyright 2006-2011 Rolf R. Hainich; all materials on this website are copyrighted.
Disclaimer: All proprietary names and product names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. We do not imply that any of the technologies or ideas described or mentioned herein are free of patent or other rights of ourselves or others. We do also not take any responsibility or guarantee for the correctness or legal status of any information in this book or this website or any documents or links mentioned herein and do not encourage or recommend any use of it. You may use the information presented herein at your own risk and responsibility only. To the best of our knowledge and belief no trademark or copyright infringement exists in these materials. In the fiction part of the book, the sketches, and anything printed in special typefaces, names, companies, cities, and countries are used fictitiously for the purpose of illustrating examples, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. If you have any questions or objections, please contact us immediately. "We" in all above terms comprises the publisher as well as the author. If you intend to use any of the ideas mentioned in the book or this website, please do your own research and patent research and contact the author.