Magic tricks are just scams that we clap and smile at when they’re over instead of wanting to choke someone. 

Augmented reality is still a long way off to be able to used to fool people about the nature of reality, but given that photos are regularly photoshopped for profit, it’ll come sooner than we think.  It’s such a big problem that a whole field called digital forensics has spawned from it. 

And don’t think that it has to be done well to make an impact.  Many of the world’s most infamous rulers have used these techniques to remove former friends or even a beer bottle from an offending picture.  Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini and Castro to name a few.  Even in the US these techniques have had an impact like this John Kerry and Jane Fonda picture that was later proved to be a hoax, but too late for the 2004 election (I’m not speculating that it had an effect on the election, only that it could have.)


Even now we’re dealing with birth certificate allegations with President Obama.  Many doctored photos of the supposed certificate have appeared all over the Internet (they all can’t be right?)

Eventually we’ll see the same things happen to real-time videos, which by the nature of being real-time, will lead people to believe them.  And many times, these techniques are only used to reinforce the will of the believers. Remember if there is a profit to be had by fooling people, then people will be fooled for profit. 



Until such things come to pass.  Enjoy your augmented reality magic coin trick. 


Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

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