There have been a whole lot of debates lately about whether tech ultimately does more good or evil. While most of that debate has centered on the serious topics of how bots spread fake news, Russian Facebook ad buys influenced the 2016 elections, and how social media can be used as tools of state surveillance, there is another serious contender: how augmented reality can bring our most terrifying nightmares to life.
Case in point: earlier this week, tech designer Abhishek Singh posted a video on Youtube that recreated a classic scene of the 2002 horror film, The Ring, in which the main baddie, Samara, crawls first out of a well on television and then out of the television itself. But this time, thanks to augmented reality, she actually is coming out of the TV and after the viewer.
As a quick primer: The Ring tells the story of a VHS tape that, when viewed, leads to a series of strange events in real life and death within seven days, which may or may not involve Samara crawling out of a television. The 2002 American film starring Naomi Watts was a remake of an earlier — and even creepier, if possible — Japanese version, Ringku.
And now, both The Ring and Ringku — as well as the sequel, Rings, which Inverse previously covered — are made even more terrifying by augmented reality technology.
Singh used Apple’s AR Kit, a software designed to make it easier for people to create VR content, for the creation of his scene from The Ring. While AR Kit is currently only available for Apple, Google launched its version, ARCore, yesterday. Meanwhile, the New York Times recently launched an AR experience that brings the 2018 Pyeongchang athletes into your living room as well. All of that just means that augmented reality is going to be a lot more common in the very near future.
Which is usually great… except when it involves our worst nightmares coming to life.