Augmented Reality and Omniscient Capitalism: Reviewing Mark Pesce’s ‘Augmented Reality’

Copy of Augmented Reality on a laptop

If you thought surveillance capitalism was troubling, then Mark Pesce’s new book on augmented reality will give you a lot more to worry about.

In his usual easy, accessible style he shows just how data-hungry effective augmented reality will be and explores the implications of handing  both data and technologies over to corporations and governments.  He also points out that the freedom to to add a digital overlay to a scene is largely unconstrained, so that we have no effective way to stop anyone ‘writing’ on public or private spaces

What emerges is a vision of a world in which spaces, locations and even our gaze are  fully monitored by businesses and governments in order to give us access to digital overlays that will largely be created by those same corporations and governments,  as  late stage capitalism moves  from mere surveillance to omniscience

It’s a long way from the excitement of the early experiments in interactive computing, virtual reality and augmented reality that, coupled with the pervasive internet, have enabled this radical shift in how we engage with the both the world of data and the physical world.

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