Augmented reality art, which you can only see through special apps on your phone, is coming. And with it, questions about what’s real and what’s not.
Augmented reality has become an obsession for Silicon Valley. Most tech companies see it as the next wave in computing, either as a bridge to virtual reality — made up worlds that exist only on your digital devices — or a destination all its own. Right now, AR is synonymous with Pokemon Go, the mobile game that spurred a lot of us last year to go outside and catch digital monsters in the world around us.
Snapchat, meanwhile, has pioneered much of the way young people currently use AR on their phones, with photo and video filters that superimpose a flower crown or a dog nose over your snaps. Apple has a platform called ARKit that lets software developers build AR apps for iPhones. Google followed suit last month with its own platform for Android-powered phones, called ARCore.
But the technology also opens up possibilities of sci-fi lore. Eventually, with a good pair of AR glasses — something Facebook says it’s working on — you might be able to see if your kid has a fever just by looking at him. You could take your entire workspace with you on a flight, without ever opening up a laptop. You might never buy a new TV again, if all you need is a digital screen over your eyes.
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