Victus Spiritus


The Adaptive Augmented Reality Web

07 Mar 2010

There's a flurry of startup interest and social location apps that are working to glue the web to our physical locations. Tech enthusiast Robert Scoble prompted a Buzz discussion (another location capable media) to determine which was the best service, with varied opinions weighing in. Physical location and orientation is but one piece of the puzzle to seemlessly weave the web within our physical world and social lives. Augmented Reality is the channel of opportunity that will enable a rich blending of mobile web, location/orientation, and most importantly social discovery and connectivity.

Far Out Future

Looking further ahead I can perceive Kevin Kelly's vision of Internet aware chips connecting all things and beings. In his latest work "What technology wants", which he crafts using The Technium blog, I suspect we share the same conclusion: technology wants to embrace every aspect of the physical world. My expectation is that we'll have full control over our personal networks (unless Apple & AT&T build them). Nano-technology will empower monitors within our bodies to probe for health risks. Tiny particle size chips will also enable full 4 dimensional mapping (3D space + time history) of our environments and have instant communication to our minds' sensory processing centers. We'll literally be capable of seeing through walls (we already can with crude phone camera apps), and sense all around us zooming in our perception to probe for greater details. The utility and creativity of such adaptive augmented reality tools is near limitless. But there's a beautiful form of personalization that I haven't yet explored. The implicit adaption of our surroundings to our wishes.

The Present

The trajectory forwards we're developing at Victus Media is boosted by semantic social "listening" tools. Like caveman paintings compared to modelling the oceans of Europa, I've chosen to help make simple effective utilities that can pave the way towards an adaptive interconnected future. The start of our journey is introducing a pattern of web service behavior. Active web services can recognize the presence of a visitor, and use knowledge about a visitor's interests to personalize the experience. As developers we're always guessing and modifying tools to appease a large user base while alienating others. The ability to dynamically adapt a service to individual visitors will help familiarize new users and save proficient users time (two way search).

The goal of adaptive information services isn't to remove choice, but to suggest a more rational selection of defaults to new visitors. Personalization is a competitive advantage future businesses won't have the luxury of ignoring.

*note: we connect user interest tags to social IDs at the moment but the area of user ID is improving rapidly