Augmented Reality is still a novelty to many people. Partly because the tech gained mainstream awareness via games like Pokemon Go and social media apps like Snapchat. Naturally, the public categorized AR as fun, but ultimately frivolous and our collective focus moved on.
Yet the development community is beginning to understand the potential of AR to transform our collective global knowledge from text-based archives into living visual expressions.
This is an epically disruptive change in the way humanity uses computing technology. So, we’re saying it’s HUGE.
Making AR for Everyone
When we picture the evolution of AR in our daily lives, we see a data-rich environment feeding us facts and figures off everything around us.
Answers on demand. Information on tap. Enter the concept of the AR Cloud.
The single most important software infrastructure in computing. - Ori Inbar
This is a world where searching and researching through Google is too tedious. Users of the future will not tolerate having to type terms into an interface and wade through results, picking away until they find what they want.
In order for this digitally interactive world to be fully realized, we need a mutually accessible and stable network of data. The AR Cloud will be nothing less than a Digital Twin of the entire planet, from a meticulous recreation of our man-made structures all the way down to every leaf and blade of grass. If it sounds impossible, keep in mind that AI will be involved, monitoring, learning, and adapting.
Not only is this concept possible, it’s already underway.
The average individual user doesn’t (and probably won’t) use the term AR Cloud. We won’t even think of it as a subset of Extended Reality. It is simply the forward march of technology in our collective peripheral vision.
We fully expect the world of our future to evolve a digital skin. This expectation has been woven into our subconscious over the last few decades – so much so that it could even be considered a self-fulfilling prophecy. And although popular culture gives us disconcerting imagery like the advertising-saturated world in Minority Report or the joyless decay of Blade Runner, it’s more useful to visualize what the AR Cloud will actually provide.
Yes, there are questions about who can and should control this information network. How will data be uploaded? How can we ensure it is trustworthy? Another relatively new term, a Blockchain system, is the answer. Decentralizing the storage of information makes it far less corruptible. Delving into how a Blockchain works is worth a completely separate post, but if you’d like a quick overview, check out the video below.
So like all human technology, the process of creating the AR Cloud will be ongoing, challenging, and ultimately worthwhile. It’s a massive undertaking, and at the moment, only big players like Microsoft, Google, and Apple are positioned to tackle the task. But keep in mind; these are giant organizations full of real people – just like you.
AR Delivering Value
In reality, we will be using AR to supplement schoolwork, perform job tasks effectively and safely, consume resources efficiently and responsibly – the list of benefits will be highly varied and extremely long. Our blog post outlining industry-based uses of Digital Twins goes into more detail.
AR will also enable us to create saveable, shareable content, helping us build with creativity and accessibility. This content will have a collaborative element as well. So while the AR Cloud will be practical, the sheer volume of contributors suggests it has the potential to be an ecosystem that purifies itself, shedding mistakes and misinformation as users update and correct the data.
The bottom line we want to stress here is that the AR Cloud is subtle, invisible, hugely powerful, and endlessly useful. Like any other advance in technology, it is morally inert, capable of becoming what we make it. So don’t think of it as the beginning of a dystopia. The human experience of being connected to our world can be enhanced as desired – meaning we can shut it off as easily as we can tap into an unprecedented massive volume of knowledge.
At Stambol, we pride ourselves on imagining how technology can lift us up, make us better, and shape a world we can be proud to leave behind. Ask us how your business can step into the AR Cloud in a way that works for your products and services.
Image Credit: tawanlubfah / Adobe Stock