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Dutch Gov't Wastes Money on AR Billboards Instead of Hiring Police

Augmented reality technology is really fantastic. Really! But, like anything else, it has potential for abuse, misuse, and simple wrongheadedness. In both Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Dutch government has installed AR billboards intended to combat an apparently pervasive problem; public workers, in the course of their regular duties, are routinely faced with violence and aggression from average citizens. And passersby rarely try to stop these altercations.

So, the Dutch decided to make the billboard, which makes it look like a confrontation has erupted -- between paramedics and some angry people -- right across the street from where you're standing. The goal is to shame Dutch citizens for their inaction. But shouldn't the government maybe address why its people are so prone to beating up government workers?

We're not sure if we really understand the point of this project. Is it a cultural difference of values? Perhaps. But we think that one very real reason that passersby don't insert themselves into a violent altercation is that they don't want to get hurt themselves. Is that so unreasonable?

What does the Dutch government expect of its citizens? To immediately assess a confrontation, determine who is correct in the dispute, and intervene, possibly with violence, to subdue the aggressor? If you want a country full of belligerent vigilantes, you're on the right track, Netherlands.

But, to repeat, we think there's a larger issue going on here than a lack of good samaritanism. If the dangers facing public workers are so many that they merit a high-tech billboard, maybe that money would be better spent on more police protection for said workers, you think? [From: Popular Science]

Tags: ar, AugmentedReality, billboard, crime, GoodSamaratin, government, Netherlands, top, violence, weird