Why Infiniverse Needs Proof of Location
Last week XYO Network announced that they had formed a partnership with us, allowing us to integrate their decentralized proof of location technology into Infiniverse. So, what exactly is proof of location, and why does Infiniverse need it?
Infiniverse strongly depends on knowing the user’s position and orientation in the real world. This is required in order to accurately display the virtual content that exists in the world around them. Initially, we rely on the smartphone’s GNSS sensor, which uses GPS and other satellite systems to calculate the user’s geographic position. However, the location data given to the Infinverse app by the smartphone can be easily spoofed. There are many apps available on the App Store and Google Play Store that do just that.
This could allow a malicious user to cheat the system in two major ways:
- By placing their attached content persistently outside of their real location.
- By receiving digital collectibles that were intended for people in a specific real world location.
In Infiniverse, there are two main ways to expose your content to the world:
- Buy or rent land and place your digital assets there persistently.
- Attach your digital assets to yourself and have them follow you around in the world.
In the case of attached content, it only exists in the world while you are running the app, and must follow your real world position — you cannot leave it in a specific location. Therefore, a malicious user could leave their Infiniverse app running, with their location constantly spoofed. This would essentially be persistent content, but without the user having paid or rented for the land rights. As a result, the purpose and value of land would be eliminated, which would be devastating for the Infiniverse economy.
Another potential area of interest for location-faking users is collectibles linked to real world locations. Infiniverse will allow content creators to distribute digital collectibles to users that have visited a specific real world location. For example, these could be some sort of achievement badges, which users may be proud to collect and show off. However, if malicious users are able to spoof their location, they could collect these items without actually visiting their location.
Pokémon GO, the most successful AR game to date, is well-aware of the problem of location spoofing and is known to ban cheating users. Similarly, there are measures Infiniverse could take to detect spoofers and stop them from cheating. However, this would require restricting our smart contracts to apps that have been digitally signed by us. This would impact decentralization and still wouldn’t be 100% fool-proof.
That’s where XYO Network comes in. Their decentralized proof of location system works by taking advantage of their existing location beacons, a million of which have already been built and are distributed around the world. Using a consensus algorithm, these beacons are able to locate the smartphone and verify its geographic position. XYO Network recently announced that they will be supporting projects built on the EOS blockchain and we can’t wait to get their technology integrated into Infiniverse.
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