Augmented Reality will be an integral pillar of The Metaverse. While some will experience the technology from inside a closed VR headset, others will explore through mixed reality. This will mean that the real world will be augmented with AR enhancements only accessible on the platform.
However, this focus of merging reality with a digital platform may have an adverse effect on said reality. In the face of this, Augmented Reality developer Louis Rosenberg has warned that doubling down on AR will “destroy” reality.
Louis Rosenberg speaks out against The Metaverse
Posted in a Big Think opinion piece, Rosenberg explained that augmented reality, “more than any form of media to date, has the potential to alter our sense of reality”. As the inventor of modern AR, the innovator is convinced that The Metaverse will break down the barriers between reality and virtuality. And this is not a good thing.
“In an augmented world, simply walking down the street will become a wild amalgamation of the physical and the virtual, merged so convincingly that the boundaries will disappear in our minds,” he said. “Our surroundings will become filled with persons, places, objects, and activities that don’t actually exist, and yet they will seem deeply authentic to us.
Rosenberg believes that the AR “techno-magic” will “become central to all aspects of life”. The AR innovator believes it will happen soon, and it will be initially good. However, with Facebook — sorry, Meta — in charge, that magic will be corrupted.
Meta will ruin the magic of AR
The AR developer explains that humanity is at the “last bastion of reliable reality”. With Fake News, misinformation, and algorithms constantly digitally funding connected echo chambers without AR, this will only be exacerbated with it.
Rosenberg explains that the more AR becomes entwined with reality, the information hub will be unavoidable. Everything will be enhanced and without those enhancements you'll be at a disadvantage.
The AR innovator says The Metaverse will be unavoidable. If it takes off, your future will “socially, economically, and intellectually” be tied to the platform. “If a family cannot afford AR hardware, they will live in a world where critical content is completely invisible to them.”
Nevertheless, the developer is still positive that AR could actually enhance reality. He said:
“Don’t get me wrong. AR has the power to enrich our lives in wonderful ways. I am confident that AR will enable surgeons to perform faster and better... But AR also will make us even more dependent on the insidious layers of technology that mediate our lives and the powerbrokers that control those layers. This will leave us increasingly susceptible to manipulations and distortions by those who can afford to pull the strings. If we are not careful now, AR could easily be used to fracture society, pushing us from our own information bubbles into our own custom realities, further entrenching our views and cementing our divisions, even when we are standing face-to-face with others in what feels like the public sphere.”