|An augmented reality experience at the Los Angeles Zoo, built with the Metaverse app. COURTESY OF GOMETA
Author: Janko Roettgers
December 21, 2016
Ron Burgundy is in the White House.
No, that’s not the plot to “Anchorman 4,” but the work of Dmitry Shapiro, founder and CEO of San Diego-based augmented reality startup GoMeta. Shapiro placed a virtual version of the notorious news anchor in the Oval Office when he recently demoed his app to Variety. Now, anyone visiting the President of the United States just has to open the Metaverse app to discover Burgundy, ready to talk nonsense.
Metaverse is an app that works similar to Pokemon Go in that it lets users discover characters ranging from Burgundy to talking aliens in the real world simply by going to places and pointing their phone camera at the world around them. But unlike Pokemon Go, Metaverse wants to be more than a game. Shapiro’s ambitious plan is to allow anyone to build their own phone-based augmented reality experiences.
“Malls could be learning experiences for children,” he said, painting a picture of math problems lurking around every corner as part of a gigantic educational treasure hunt. People will be able to use Metaverse to annotate the real world, turn their morning walk into an augmented reality fitness parkour, collaborate on maps of public restrooms, or even build their own Pokemon Go clones based on their favorite characters. “Get ready for the long tail of interactive,” he said.