According to the abstract of a patent that IBM filed, they are looking into developing a blockchain-based gaming system which will deter players operating in an augmented reality (AR) space from entering “ undesirable locations (e.g., high risk locations, culturally sensitive locations, locations marked by property owners)”.
In opposition to virtual reality (VR), where a user is fully immersed in a 3D generated environment, augmented reality operates within the confines of the actual world where overlays present information, usually through some form of HUD (Heads-up Display). The information relayed can be anything from geographic historic data to digital enemies firing space rifles from behind the local coffee shop. The most famous endeavor into augmented reality was the ill-fated Google Glass, but augmented reality can be found in smartphone apps as well, which is keeping the tech alive.
While there is a race between VR and AR to see which tech will find itself leading in the market which is estimated to be around $162 billion by 2020, IBM is looking to get ahead in the AR space. The tech giant will use blockchain technology to document location data on the immutable ledger, dissuading ne’er-do-wells from misleading other players from uploading false information. The patent also showcases the techs desire to use a neural network which compile data on various locations and actions taken within the area.
The patents filing process is only step one, and to actually develop the product will be an endeavour unto itself. As for the application of the product, it can only be speculated as to whether or not it will remain in the entertainment realm.