On Friday, IBM filed a patent application for a way to prevent augmented reality (AR) gamers from walking into risky locations. The new system will apply blockchain to yet another untapped area for the technology. And it will be yet another addition for the giant tech company.
AR games have become increasingly popular for mobile gamers, especially since the release of Pokemon Go in 2016.
Released in 2016, this game has around 5 million active users a day. In case you aren’t familiar, AR means adding a virtual layer, superimposing the game over the real world through your phone’s camera.
While millions of people enjoy playing AR games, the dangers are very real. A number of users have been distracted looking at their phone while playing the game, resulting in accidents. And often Pokemon Go and those like it mistakenly lead you onto private property. While AR games usually explain that trespassing is a violation of both the law and the terms of service, this is not always enough to prevent it from happening.
IBM’s system will track specific location information, and then check this data against the blockchain ledger
They cite some examples of places a player shouldn’t be visiting: “high-risk locations, culturally sensitive locations, locations marked by property owners”.
They plan to offer a tag-detection function for business and property owners and the like. These tags and signs already exist in the environment namely street signs, businesses logos, hospital symbols and more. The phone camera will detect such a tag and automatically ban AR in that location.
The patent then goes into detail defining and explaining blockchain itself and its superiority
The AR patent illustrates how the trustless consensus will help maintain validity about the above mentioned location tags, as well as other location data stored on the ledger.
Data is alterable, but consensus will be added both manually by stakeholders, and automatically through information collected through different players. This is the machine learning aspect of the system.
IBM has filed numerous blockchain patents over the last several years
They have been one of the leading big-name tech blockchain supporters and developers, alongside Microsoft and China’s Alibaba. Their blockchain-based Food Trust helped make farm-to-grocery tracking much more efficient. And they’ve launched their own blockchain-as-a-system for developers.
This recent AR patent is just another among many that this industry leader proposed in their blockchain development. Their total patents approaches 100, and there are likely more to come soon.
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