Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Augmented Reality and Imposed Reality

There have been a few vaguely interesting articles on augmented reality, and they tend to be like this. "How will corporations abuse us in this new, augmented reality?"

I think this is a topic that needs to be addressed more fundamentally. Rather than talking about the types of ads that can be served, we need to talk about whether or not ads can be served at all.

Right now, if you try to use an augmented reality system, you have to use one of the primordial research projects that are floating around the web, like Google Goggles or Layar. Most people seem to be under the impression that that's just the way it's always going to be.

But that's not the case.

As we move into the future of AR, we're going to have a few basic formats for data to display, and we're going to have loads of competing browsers. Like Chrome and Firefox, these browsers do not exist to serve ads, nor do they exist to take us to specific sites of the corporation's choice and force us to view specific things.

Sometimes, these browsers do. For example, Chrome recently tried to sell me Angry Birds.

So now I don't use Chrome any more.

The point is that, like web browsers, AR browsers will emerge as open solutions for interpreting any available source of data. We won't be using Google(r) ChromeOS(r)(tm) Goggles (r)(tm) with forced reliance on Google(r) GiantFuckingDatabase(tm)(c). We'll be using whatever browser we want to access whichever data sources we want.

Serve us ads? Lock us in?

Not for long!

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