Tech giant Apple is augmenting reality in a way that critics fear could become sinister and invasive.

Their augmented reality (AR) tool which is active in Paris, New York, London, and other cities is said to improve real life by superimposing digital words and images on old and traditional landmarks.

Privacy defenders fear AR could enable corporations to utilise everyday spaces for financial gain.

The AR interactive art works which enable colourful words and images to float above buildings needs an app and smartphone to work.

Apple commissioned the art from New Museum in New York, who have submitted works by seven poets and performers including Nick Cave.

The Apple tour in London revealed rainbow text appearing over a lion statue in London’s Trafalgar Square while a factory production line arose from the floor of Covent Garden.

Apple says the idea, they call, ‘ T Walk’ is a fun way of bringing art to the people and augment city life. But some fear a takeover of public spaces.

A researcher at the University of Glasgow reckoned that it raised questions of property rights, suggesting that the technology was being used without much aforethought.

On the plus side, however, AR could offer virtual maps or let officials see through the pavement to spot structural problems. But it allows firms to collect private data which could have negative consequences.

It is all very similar to ‘Pokemon Go’ that hit us in 2016, unleashing thousands of players into streets in search of cute animated characters.

But the distinction between digital and physical property rights was blurred, say experts, with some property owners suing the game’s makers for unwanted trespass.

AR could add another dimension to city life, assisting traffic flow, tourism and emergency response, said another commentator.

AR is becoming more mainstream now, with better integration onto mobile devices. Also the AR gaming market is expecting too reach a value of almost $300 billion by 2023. The trend is virtually unstoppable. However even sceptics feel that there probably would be more positives than negatives around this new application.