When Does Virtual Reality Become Real?

We live in a digital world. We’ve all heard it and it’s true. We are glued to our screens, large and small.

But what happens when we no longer need the screens? What happens when VR (Virtual Reality), or more likely, AR (Augmented Reality), is everywhere? When everything we do has the potential to be augmented? At what point does it simply not matter what’s real and what isn’t?

It’s an interesting question. One that provides multiple squirrels on so many levels.

Back in the day (I’m dating myself here) online relationships weren’t considered real. They weren’t valid until you met face to face. That is no longer true. Some of my closest friends I’ve never met in person.

Technology is progressing at an ever-increasing rate. VR/AR is right there in the middle. Watch this Ted Talk on “The Dawn of Virtual Reality” for some common ground.

I’m fascinated by how the woman does NOT like talking to the projection. She’s clearly creeped out by it. There’s a blog for another time.

Peter Diamandis sees a future where everyone has AR glasses. We’ll use them for virtual meetups and 3D learning. We won’t have to remember that woman’s name because we’re so connected the information is provided as soon as we see her.

Ok, so those glasses are going to need an upgrade. How about these? 

Better, but let’s fast forward. We don’t need the glasses. Our brains control the interface directly and the cameras are placed everywhere, eventually being integrated into our own eyes. Many think we will be connected to the net via our neural pathways.

 

Hivemind anyone? Being connected to the net has some major implications. Yet another post for another time. One knee-jerk reaction I have is in regards to other people…there are some minds out there I do not want to connect with. Moving on.

 

 

 

So maybe you’re not keen on plugging into the net. You opt to wear the glasses, but they don’t look anything like today’s VR glasses. You’re good with that. You’re the cool retro type. Probably wearing a fedora as well.

And now, let’s say you can tune in the extent of your AR experience as demonstrated in that video above. And everyone is doing it. AR is king, so is that not real? If what you are directly experiencing isn’t real, then what is?

Many have postulated that we live in a Virtual Reality now. *waves to Peter* The really weird thing is, it’s possible. Who’s to say we haven’t already gone there and digitized? What if when we die, we simply ‘wake up’ because all we really did was reboot?

What if the future is just another social divide with haves and have nots? Those poor sots are left behind experiencing the cold hard edges of reality. No-lush garden scapes cloaking the grungy sidewalk for them.

See what I mean? The squirrels abound.

If our entire existence is augmented with virtual content, it’s real. AR could be not so much a fad, as the next step in human evolution.

I’m going to go all in with this next year. Somewhere between fifty and eighty years in our future. Maybe not a full singularity, but biotech, nanotech, and AI are front and center. Or, more accurately, so ubiquitous they’re invisible. Going about their jobs keeping us healthy and young for a staggering amount of time. We’re rocking it. For the most part.

Our world is primed for massive disruption.  As with all things, it has both an upside and a down, but the one thing we can’t do (barring a technological apocalypse) is stop progress.

We’re all on this crazy train, so we might as well enjoy the ride.

Until next time. #MakeItCount

 

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2 Responses to When Does Virtual Reality Become Real?

  1. Amen! As one of the singularitarians says (Kurzweil? De Gray?) We just have to live long enough to live forever (or a really, really long time). Not be attractive long enough, as I’m betting on wrinkles being reversible ;).

    Relatedly, it so happened that I saw that graph right after I read your post: https://twitter.com/dbcurren/status/925737844747927553. That’s a singularity-making exponential curve there, if I ever saw one.

  2. Sabine Priestley says:

    Yes! And hell yes to wrinkles being reversible! Bring on that sucker.
    That curve? We’re there. We are on the brink. No doubt. As long as, like I said, we don’t crash and burn. It’s a great time to be alive!

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