Imagine you’re sitting in a conference room and you see a black cat in the corner. The minute you look that direction, an ad for Purrito cat food appears in the lower right corner of your vision and there’s a banner over the conference table with an ad for No Fur Feline, a service that sells AR pets, and then the cat glitches because it’s really an ad for The Matrix Episode 17. Your boss says, Good morning, let’s get started, and now the ad in the corner is for Depresso coffee delivery service and the banner is displaying an ad for LasARfocus, an AR app to help you stay alert during meetings. And there’s no banner and no cat and you’re not really in a conference room, you’re at home but it looks like a conference room and you have to wear pants because the other people at the meeting can see you.

AR is going to be supported by advertising.

Here’s the way it will go.

Somebody will invent the nanobots, experiments will happen, they’ll be determined to be safe by the FDA or CDC or CIA or whoever the hell would be in charge.

Apple/Google/Facebook will try to sell them – and they’ll all try to gain an advantage by making them proprietary. “Get your injection for $1000 and get the Apple AR experience!” That means if you have Apple AR nanobots, you won’t be able to connect with anyone who has Google AR nanobots. Have you ever tried to use Facetime with an Android user? The big tech companies adore their walled gardens.

AR is only going to catch on when you can use it to communicate with everybody. It has to cost nothing and be completely standard all over the world. That’s how Facebook and Google got to where they are now.

Somebody is going to come along with a different business model. It might be Google but my bet is that it’s a new company that comes out of nowhere to take over, like Zoom did with meetings and Tik Tok did with videos.

The company will give away the technology. “Nanobot shots are available at your local CVS / at our network of local clinics / at your doctors office / in your driveway. Free. No charge. No obligation. Safe. Private. Easy.”

The new company’s AR tech will be supported by ads. The company will absorb all the up-front cost because you’ll be a lifetime customer.

Look at today’s internet! The only business model that works for 99.9% of websites and online services is advertising. Sure, there are a handful of places that sell subscriptions, but literally only a handful, and even those are subsidized by advertising.

With AR in your blood, the whole world will look like a highway that is lined with billboards for chain restaurants and stores that sell defective furniture and personal injury lawyers at 1-800-CALLBOB who can’t be bothered to return calls from someone with a perfectly good claim for an injury caused by defective furniture, it took weeks before I could sit comfortably, somebody should have paid.

The AR tech means you’ll see those billboards even though they’re not really there. You won’t be able to turn them off. That will be the deal you made to get the AR tech for free.

You’ll see ads in picture frames that aren’t really on the wall, ads that look like they’re embedded in table tops, ads that look like skywriting, and imagine what your world will be like if you do a perfectly understandable search for information about butt pain and you see hemorrhoid ointments and donuts everywhere you look for months.

Next time I’ll tell you how they’ll convince you to inject the AR nanobots.