The Augnet: Where Pokemon Goes from Here

In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.

 —Suarez Miranda, Viajes de varones prudentes, Libro IV, Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658

Jorge Luis Borges, “The Exactitude of Science.” Translation by Andrew Hurley.


Jorge Luis Borges

Augmented reality gives us something that only Argentinian literary giant Jorge Luis Borges dared dream of–a map as vast as the terrain it demarcates. Pokemon Go is the first landmark augmented reality experience, but definitely not the last. Right now I imagine there are developers working on AR treasure hunts, games, and enterprise applications that will become the Pokemon Go of their various categories. All of these will form a collective commons of AR content: the Augnet.

The Augnet will allow us to annotate the world we see around us. Forget looking up Yelp reviews on your phone. You’ll be able to see Yelp reviews hovering in front of the restaurants you pass on the street. If you thought Amazon showrooming was a big deal now, just wait until you’re able to walk into a brick and mortar store wearing your AR device and see the Amazon prices and Buy Now buttons for items superimposed on those items in the real world.

One big milestone for the Augnet will be when someone develops a user generated content platform. Continue reading “The Augnet: Where Pokemon Goes from Here”