Clearly augmented reality is going to be a huge disappointment if it means dragging reality in front of your desktop webcam. However, mobile devices capable of playing similar files will become common over the next few years. To some extent we already have something as usable already available. QR codes.
These are two dimensional ciphers that can be used to embed text. Most smartphones have software capable of reading QR codes through the camera and showing the text. If the text is a URL for a file, then effectively you can embed files at locations. Your office door could link to your online calendar, so anyone who visits while you’re out can see when you’re next in.
I think use is going to depend on how portable the information can be. A label on a plant that’s in an awkward position will still be awkward if you need to point a phone at it to see a video. In that kind of situation a QR code can be snapped and the phone held at a convenient angle to see the information. On the other hand there are some situations where information is much more accessible if it’s spatially embedded. Instructions for machines could tell you exact where the button you need to press is – though taking phones into labs is not a good idea yet.
If you’re interested in seeing more experiments in teachnology and teaching / training then Matthew Mobbs’ blog Forty2 is a good place to start.