Now, PTC's Vuforia augmented-reality software means you can at least show up virtually.
The company on Wednesday demonstrated a new Vuforia-based app called Project Chalk that lets you interact with others through video calling.
There are plans to support Amazon's flavor of Android, as well as Windows.
The capabilities enabled by Project Chalk aren't completely new. But analysts say it's really the first app for consumers to use right on their phones and tablets.
Augmented reality shouldn't be confused with virtual reality, which transports you into a different, digitally created world. An important factor in how big the market will get is content, said ABI Research analyst Eric Abbruzzese.
"For AR on consumer devices, we haven't seen much yet," he said. Earlier this year, he compared the technology to the impact of the smartphone on the world's population.
The app -- which doesn't yet have an official name -- will become available this summer to people who sign up for the early access program.
The app is expected to hit the Apple App and Google Play stores this fall.
More than 350,000 developers have registered to use Vuforia.Behind the scenes, Vuforia builds a 3D model of your environment.(It doesn't save that information, so you don't worry about hackers stealing detailed images of your home or router.) The tech uses computer vision to recognize what you're looking at so those annotations can stick to whatever it is they're initially drawn on (that TV remote, for example).You can create digital notes and drawings over an image.When your contact looks at the phone, the annotation show up as if it's stuck to the object itself, exactly where you made the scribble.