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Chapter 7

Virtual Air Rights

If people can create all over the world, using all types of connected devices, that could easily lead to one of the dystopian images of AR we see in movies. No one wants augmented ads bombarding your vision like IoI proposed in Ready Player Me. One of the better examples of AR glasses is Tony Stark. In Spiderman: Homecoming, Stark gifted Peter Parker a pair of AR glasses. In Infinity Wars: End Game, Tony Stark used his AR glasses to analyze the bad guys (notice how he still had to tap the glasses with his finger. (Where’s your neural interface, Tony?).

Tony’s AR glasses are in a closed environment; he owns the only pair. Friday, the AI he talks to in the glasses, only works for him (as opposed to AI that will be in all of our commercial glasses). As AR glasses become mass-adopted, we’ll need virtual air rights that work for everyone. Companies like Digital Air Rights are already positioning themselves to tackle the problem of who owns the digital layers of a physical property.

“The next layer of real property is your digital air space…” says digitalairrights.com “This new digital layer of your property can be used for geofencing and/or augmented reality without your knowledge.” [47]

Sounds scary. But in reality, it’s a natural evolution of technology. In the way we define how high a skyscraper can be built or who can fly over a city, we need to define virtual air rights.

In 2021, an LA startup called the ARIA Network got an exclusive deal with Brookfield Properties in Los Angeles, CA. [48] The deal gave ARIA Network AR advertising in digital store directories, wayfinding, and in-store promotions in 100 locations across 42 states. This worked for Brookfield Properties too because they could offer unique experiences to their guests and at the same time verify uniformity and messaging across the AR experiences.

The integration of AR glasses into the "connected everything" landscape ushers in a new era of immersive experiences and seamless connectivity. AR glasses will bridge the physical and digital worlds powered by the cloud, edge computing, and the forthcoming 6G networks. As virtual air rights come into play, AR glasses offer captivating overlays and enhanced interactions, blurring the boundaries between reality and imagination. The future holds tremendous potential as AR glasses continue to evolve and shape the way we perceive, interact with, and make sense of our interconnected world.

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