How Augmented Reality Can Solve the Internet

AR is more than just ‘another’ innovation

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Created with Canva Design, Credit: Author

Let’s cut right to the chase. Here are the problems with the current internet.

Business Model

21 Century is the digital age, and data is more valuable than gold. This invaluable data is collected by wiring millions of humans to a web called the internet. To make the process more efficient, hundreds of scientists are working on algorithms to predict or manipulate our actions and desires.

This is the business model of the current internet: Collect data, analyze your tastes and preferences, and sell it to advertisers.

This is the toughest problem of the 21 century because we cannot enforce a concrete law to stop this; We need AI, and AI needs data . While these algorithms are the golden goose for big tech companies, they are hidden devils for the common masses.

Advertising

Data is used to create our personal profiles, and each profile is a point on the web of millions of profiles stored in the data centers of large companies. These profiles are meant to become our digital twins, as close as possible to the real deal.

These profiles can predict what we want, when we want it, how often we need it, and how much we need it. This ‘it’ includes everything from our morning cereal to dating preferences. Profiles help advertisers pinpoint individuals on the internet and target the most relevant ads, you are most likely to click. Some companies create a catalog of ads for each profile and load them offline into the browser, thus no Javascript blocker can block those ads.

Social Dilemma would be a good documentary to watch to learn more about profiling and how rigged the internet is.

Attention

What do the giants need to create profiles and train AI? Data .

How to get more data? Hook you in for a long period of time .

Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, all need your attention to function. If the internet runs with such an incentive, these companies are bound to work on algorithms to manipulate you and hook you in.

I hope you have noticed that since we got our smartphones, most of us have purchased more things than we needed. That ‘once a lifetime’ special sale on your favorite shoes never ends, Amazon and Facebook recommendations drive our purchases, and you have no place in your house to keep the extra stuff.

If you are not convinced, just think of the last time you ate your meal without your phone, waited in the queue without meaninglessly scrolling Twitter for no reason whatsoever, went to bed without watching a YouTube video. I know it’s hard to list many such days.

We have lost the sense of taste, smell, gratitude, appreciation, curiosity, and can’t make decisions for ourselves.

We cannot stop tech giants from collecting data. Governments can regulate them, monitor them, but they cannot stop them, and from here on out, they will just have more of our data. Regulations may prohibit them from using our data in nefarious ways, but algorithms, to some extent, will still affect our thoughts.

But AR can solve this.

Augmented Reality Will Change the Internet

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Photo by UNIBOA on Unsplash

You must have noticed that YouTube is trying hard to sell their premium membership, and to do that, they have increased the length and number of ads in a video.

I know it sucks! Ads always suck.

Do you play Fortnite? Well, I love it and I am pretty good at it.

In Fortnite, there are many ads. Every day there is a new partnership with Marvel, DC, some musician, gamer, movie, car company, you never know what Fortnite is up to. You might think that it must suck. Well, I love it actually. Heck! I get to play with Iron Man’s skin, use Thor’s hammer as a harvesting tool, become wolverine, and whatnot.

Ads don’t suck when you want to experience them. Have you seen Audi’s or Nike’s AR unboxing? If not, you are missing out.

AR will change the advertising industry. We will interact with our favorite shoes, cars, devices, characters, everything we can think of, and more. AR will make the ads interesting, and the incentive will change to make ads more interactive and creative.

I know what you are thinking: Wouldn’t that collect more data and grab more of our precious attention?

Enter SuperWorld

SuperWorld is a virtual world where users can buy, sell, and curate 64 Billion unique plots of virtual land.

Superworld also has an AR app where you can create and explore your personalized AR content on your virtual land. Owning virtual land means you can earn revenue for AR content visible on it through the SuperWorld platform. You can rent virtual land for anything from an advertisement to a scene in a game.

Virtual land in SuperWorld is yours, you get to decide what you see in it, and how it is used. Everyone can have their own world or share a common experience in a community world.

This means that instead of being confined to a 6-inch smartphone, you can experience the whole world. This will make you more attentive, observant, and present in the reality. Instead of having no information about what’s going on around you, you will have more detail about your surroundings as AR can display information on top of anything.

While you are standing in a queue, you can play virtual games with people around you; While having a meal, you can get nutritional facts about your food; While walking on the street, you can know more about the plants, buildings, and history behind the location.

AR can connect us with the real world and help us know more about ourselves. It can strengthen our relationships, help us make new friends, and let us experience/explore this world in a more beautiful way.

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Shubh Patni

Programmer | YouTuber | Writer and student at Northeastern University