Predicting the future of reality

This is a reproduction from a previous vision document, the original 2021 Aukiverse blackpaper.

The Handheld Era

Humanity has one foot in the doorway. Even with all its limitations, augmented reality has captured our imagination. In this handheld era, AR is accessed through a digital looking glass offering us a narrow window into the augmented realm. We are limited in our ability to interact with both the real and the virtual, having only one hand free for either.

In the handheld era of augmented reality, we are on the outside looking in, seeing the world through a narrow peephole with one hand always tied behind our back.

Our handheld devices have only a rough sense of their position in either world, and shared AR experiences are warped by the dissonant perception of each participant.

And yet we dream. The market is already estimated to have grown to well over 20 billion dollars annually.

The Wearable Era

We have opened the doors of perception and planted both feet firmly on the other side. With both hands free to interact with the real world, the barrier to entering virtual worlds is drastically lowered.

Primitive gesture tracking and simple single user applications gradually give way to more immersive and interactive experiences that can be shared with friends.

Networks of devices and people orient themselves in the virtual world together, and parts of the virtual world are starting to become persistently anchored in the real world.

As people spend more time in the augmented world, we start adding the virtual to our identity. Increasingly, how we are seen in these semi-virtual worlds becomes a reflection of how we see and express ourselves.

The market for AR is estimated to reach 340 billion USD by the year 2028.

The Integrated Era

We spend more time in the augmented world than we do in the information sparse desert we once called reality.

Objects in the world are much more than tactile and visual in the integrated era of augmented reality. Depths of information and human emotion are projected onto the canvas of the augmented world.

Many layers of virtual worlds are firmly anchored and persistent, and people choose which layer of the world they wish to inhabit. Vast worlds of virtual real estate are bought and sold, creating a market bigger than that for physical space.

Our own identity and how we view those around us is inextricably linked with the personas we have crafted for ourselves. We have reshaped our civilization and have collectively embarked on a journey towards a new destiny for our species.

The word “market” no longer meaningfully captures the immense impact that augmented reality has on humanity.

Death of display.

The wearable era starts ushering in the end of physical displays. Persistent and precise augmented reality makes the digital display redundant, and allows for all content to be personalized.

By the dawn of the integrated era the notion of physical displays is already becoming anachronistic and quaint. Computers are sold without displays, and no one has owned a television set for years.

Virtual kingdoms.

The rendering rights for physical spaces can be bought and sold, creating a potential trillion dollar market. Rendering in the augmented world is regulated and monitored.

Advertising reinvented.

Personalized ads can appear virtually in physical spaces, generating new revenue opportunities for business owners. Impressions can finally be tracked in the physical world, and every advertising opportunity is optimized.

Leaving flatland.

As our cities grow bigger, they reach up towards the heavens and deep underground. Two-dimensional maps and representations of the physical world no longer make sense. Human settlements are measured volumetrically rather than by area.

The GPS system is relegated to an obscure backup protocol, inaccessible within the towering urban landscapes. Location needs to be expressed as a position in space.

Vast fleets of automated vehicles and delivery drones navigate these complex and crowded three-dimensional environments at incredible speeds. Human pilots are the exception rather than the rule.

The positioning and mapping protocol of the future is peer-to-peer, collaborative, terrestrial and fast.

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