With the power of machine learning and targeted advertising, computers decide on what to show people faster than ever before. Marketing personalization has come a long way that sometimes it feels like an invasion of privacy. Augmented reality (AR) has the power to add a “digital layer” to our current reality. In order for society to feel safe and comfortable in that layer, they need to feel like they are not overwhelmed with information–so much so that they can’t distinguish between real and virtual.
But we bring up another concept for the future of augmented reality–personalization. As mentioned, personalization already occurs on our social media, advertisements, and Google searches. You open up Facebook, and it already knows that you’re in your mid- 30s and you love to go camping. As you’re scrolling your feed, you have encountered 3 advertisements for hiking gear. You clicked on one because you needed a new backpack–advertisers win, and so do you.
This is a perfect example of how personalization rules our technological devices every day. Yet, how will personalization continue through augmented reality?
Let’s say you are on vacation in a new town. You are looking for a pizza for dinner; you look towards each restaurant on the street and you get access to a detailed menu before even walking inside. With less time wasted, you find a restaurant that satisfies your pizza craving. Maybe, the next time you go out, your personalized digital layer gives you recommendations on pizza places near you because the computer now understands it’s your favorite food.
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? When combined with machine learning, augmented reality can generate and display an incredible amount of information to people.
On the other hand, if augmented reality isn’t personalized with your environment, things could go sideways. If you are too focused on the digital signals around you and run into a tree on your walk, then you will become frustrated. You would be grateful for a personalized navigation system that can track where you are, even if you are off the main GPS system. In this case, there would need to be a personalized geo-fence that helps you navigate your environment carefully and productively.
For such personalization to occur, there will need to be a precise structure in place and an AR cloud. As mentioned in an article on Nojitter about the AR cloud, “Whether guiding people through crowded environments or uniting remote workforces, the promise of the AR cloud is vast. It has been called the single most important software infrastructure in computing.” With the help of machine learning and an AR cloud, we could live in a world with a digital layer that helps us navigate challenges and understands us better than ever before.
Personalization–as it continues through AR–will be important for us to navigate a world that has both a digital and physical component. If the technology is successful, we will step away from the computer screens and cell phones and experience personalization as we interact with our environment every day. What do you envision?