What’s next for augmented reality?

Lauren Cason explains RefractAR’s approach to creating digital experiences.

A metaverse-style approach to AR is not something she can ever see taking off. “I don’t want to fully invest in an AR or VR world,” she says. “I’m not super-excited about it because AR is for a specific time, it doesn’t work properly when it’s on all the time.”

10.10 AR is a more natural way of interacting with technology than VR, says Murphy, because it tallies with the way we move through the world, including how we move our heads to look around us. “AR really aligns to how we as humans already naturally operate,” he adds.

Bobby Murphy speaking at EmTech MIT 2022

“AR is a key component of our ability to drive engagement and enable people to do some fun and really exciting things,” he says.

“It’s true there’s a lot of potential privacy risks in the way AR is used,” he adds. “We look to always put a time limit and an expiration date on data and keep it for the minimum amount of time needed to get it to work effectively.”

09.50 Next on the agenda is augmented reality (AR)—the technology we use to layer digital elements including everything from interactive filters to gaming assets into our real-world environment.

Joining Charlotte onstage is Lauren Casona creative technologist who’s worked on award-winning video games including the charming Monument Valley 2, and Bobby Murphyone of the cofounders and current CTO of Snap.

09.45 As a society, we need a project, says McCourt. He wants to know where the innovation is, and where we can find the space for discussions regardless of politics, backgrounds, race and ethnicity. Focusing on a single project, such as the race to get a man on the moon, or the human genome project, helps to focus people’s attentions and heighten the likelihood of actually achieving something.

“We’re in a new Cold War,” he says. “We want all democracies to get involved with Project Liberty, but Europe seems like the place to start because they’re ahead in terms of public policy objectives, such as human rights. In the US, our technology is being used much more like it is in China because it’s centralized, our data is scooped up and can be used to manipulate people.”

09.25 If our information is corrupted, everything just becomes noise, says McCourt. Focusing primarily on fixing the inherent problems with social media doesn’t mean it’s the be all and end all when it comes to cleaning up the internet, but it’s a worthwhile place to start because of its disproportionate power. “I just don’t think tweaking what we have is going to work,” he says. “This is the moment right now to fix the internet—and get it right this time.”

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