The finer things in virtual life

When SmartPhones are replaced by SmartGlasses, we won’t need to hold up our phone to see augmented reality. It will just be there, all around us.

When we see a virtual object floating in the middle of a room, or hovering over the sidewalk, everyone else will be seeing it too. From a shared psychological, social and cultural perspective, that object won’t be augmented reality. It will just be reality.

Or will it?

What happens if the privilege of viewing some virtual objects comes at a price? Maybe certain virtual objects will be available only if you have the right subscription service.

Perhaps a social stratification will develop. Only the rich will be able to see the finer things in virtual life. The working classes will just need to settle for muddling by with drab imitations.

We may very well enter a new era of public/private art. Aesthetic experiences geared to the wealthy will be hiding in plain sight, available only to those who wear the right glasses.

But of course those expensive elite objects will not be completely invisible. What is the point of being privileged if the lower classes don’t know about it?

After all, airline passengers in economy class are forced to walk past the ritzy first class section to get to their tiny seats. Similarly, future content providers will provide ways to make sure everybody is aware that augmented reality is a place of economic disparity.

The poor may not ever know what the rich are looking at. But they sure as hell will know that the rich are watching something that they themselves can never see.

2 Responses to “The finer things in virtual life”

  1. J. Peterson says:

    The view from the rich person’s glasses will be very streamlined.
    The poor person’s view will be filled with advertisements.

  2. admin says:


    The walled garden continually reinvents itself.

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