Applying Proof of Presence

The Proof of Presence (PoP) feature that we announced last week integrates incentives into the AR assets on our map. This affects our two primary customers: Creators of experiences and consumers of experiences. This tool makes every asset in our metaverse programmable, giving creators the means to design interactive experiences and build lasting connections with consumers that can be built upon. 

PoP allows us to prove that an individual engaged with an AR experience at a specific time and location. By geographically fencing in an AR asset, this system ensures that an individual receives a PoP token for something that they actually experienced. For example, if there was a PoP to collect at a concert, you may have access to collect it inside the venue but not while in line. Only those who pass the physical ticket gate can prove their presence at the event. The physical setup of individual events will present challenges that will be dealt with case by case. Nothing online is 100% secure, but we believe this feature dramatically improves upon what’s currently available. 

PoPs are video game achievements for everyday life. The same way you complete quests in a game and receive badges (Internal pride and external recognition from other gamers), PoP gives you a “badge” based on your real-life experiences.

Paraphrasing someone on Twitter, the metaverse isn’t some digital 3D world or MMORPG, it’s a change in mindset when humans began to care more about their online identity than their offline identity. Social media hugely influenced this. As we were able to share our online identity with exponentially more people, it became more valuable. But how do we close the gap between our on/offline identities, especially as the internet warms up to pseudonymity?

PoPs are one way. A lot of what we accomplish with proof of presence reflects how people use Instagram today. Photos posted of restaurants, clubs, music venues, art museums, all serve as ways for individuals to build their digital identity by sharing their physical experiences. It’s impossible to guess anyone’s intentions but my thinking is that people post those photos to signal to their audience that they are the kind of person who appreciates food, art, or music. They are aligning their digital identities with those experiences. “I am the type of person who goes to X, eats at X, listens to X.” Unfortunately, we have no way to fact-check these things. If you post a picture outside MoMa, how do we know you even went inside? You could keep your ticket stub or buy a t-shirt from the gift shop, but that’s the technology equivalent of sending a fax of your Instagram post to your followers. You could post a picture of your ticket stub but we don’t know it’s yours. You could post a picture of your t-shirt but how are your followers supposed to know what t-shirts are on sale at the MoMA? With Proof of Presence, you could collect a PoP from each of the pieces you visit and if you collect 10+, exchange them for a digital sculpture that says “I visited the MoMa Jan, 31st 2022.” That’s a rudimentary example but the point is that we can set up systems to verify your IRL activities and associate them with your digital identity to give your supporters a more detailed and verifiable look into your life. Maybe they can click on that sculpture and see the pieces you visited. Maybe you can comment on it and say which are your favorite.

Information improves experience. The difference between eating at a Michelin star restaurant and watching a documentary about the restaurant and then eating there is enormous. PoPs will help you tell a more detailed and personal story through your online identity.

I am the oldest portion of Gen Z. When we meet someone and want to know more about them, we go to Instagram. It’s the best way we have to learn about someone’s life. I can look you up and see what concerts you go to, trips you take, and food you like. All of the things that you have chosen to align with your digital identity. But there is often very little info beyond that some event took place that looks like the one in question. I can tell that you posted pictures around Southeast Asia, maybe you set the location to Thailand. But when did you go, where did you eat, what did you order, how’d you like each place/thing? By verifying these things with tokens you can share much more about your physical identity online, which will hopefully lead to people searching for richer IRL experiences instead of organizing the experience around where they can take the best photos.

PoPs are programmable. Any developer can use this technology, along with the other tools that we offer, to build something as simple as a “check-in” at an AR art piece or a global scavenger hunt with AR clues. Verifying your engagement with these assets allows the creator to know who their real supporters are. It will give them a direct connection to you. A musician doesn’t have information on everyone who attends a show, the ticketing companies keep that, but if you collect a PoP from a show they will have a permanent connection to you and the ability to airdrop you NFTs that contain messages, access to exclusive events, or discounts to future shows. They can see who their true supporters are, not because they purchase their most expensive NFT but because they followed their tour for the past 5 shows or saw them at the same venue every time the artist played there this decade. 

In the broadest sense, our AR metaverse layered on top of the physical world connects anything on the internet to physical space. Enabling NFTs introduces ownership to that ecosystem. And adding Proof of Presence allows us to create meaningful and lasting interactivity across time. The use cases for this technology are as broad as the internet itself. We can’t wait to see what people come up with given the tools to create and interact across the digital and physical worlds.

We have a lot of Proof of Presence related releases coming up over the next few weeks. Join our Discord to keep up with excitement!