The augmented reality cloud will probably be one of the most important pieces of digital real estate in the next few years, and China has no intention of being left out of the virtual land grab.
During Huawei’s Developer Conference this weekend, the company took the wraps off its vision of what the real world will look like when mapped and populated with persistent AR content and interfaces.
The system is called Cyberverse, and it appears to be a system that will combine the mapping of real-world environments with persistent AR information and interactive interfaces.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because the beloved Transformers science fiction empire got to it first when it launched Transformers Cyberverse last year. Still, in the realm of the real world, Huawei could have come up with a much worse moniker (even though “cyber” is a bit retro).
The company didn’t post any information about the system on its website, but it did post a rather ambitious looking video that follows the day of one user who uses a smartphone to interact with the Cyberverse.
According to China-based tech blog Pandaily, the Cyberverse system will offer “high-precision mapping services to users across 1,000 locations around the globe, enhancing the capabilities of mobile phones to more accurately pinpoint its physical location.”
And, like many AR initiatives currently in play, 5G wireless will play a central role in the system. That last part might be why you haven’t heard much about the Cyberverse in the previous 48 hours (at least if you’re in the US). Huawei is still barred from installing its 5G networks in countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
However, major markets like the U.K., Germany, Russia, India, Brazil, and others are still working with the Chinese company on 5G rollout plans.
What’s at stake isn’t just access to user data. As AR hardware continues to shrink into mainstream wearables and becomes integrated into 5G networks, these higher-speed wireless networks will effectively be an access point into the way many users around the planet actually see the world through AR lenses.
Like Magic Leap’s “Magicverse” vision touted last year, Huawei’s Cyberverse is yet another early look at what the future of the AR cloud will look like.
Now, it’s just a matter of which companies countries are willing to let control these virtual “multiverses” of the future.