Augmented Reality – Give me 6 minutes and your worldview will never be the same!
There’s a lot of talk in marketing circles about the potential for ‘Augmented Reality’ (AR). Unlike its more totally immersive cousin, Virtual Reality, AR creates new layers of experience over what we already see in the real world.
Wikipedia defines AR as ‘a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data’.
I have to say, my mind was blown by a short, crowdfunded film created by Keiichi Matsuda yesterday. Matsuda says:“Our physical and virtual realities are becoming increasingly intertwined. Technologies such as VR, augmented reality, wearables, and the internet of things are pointing to a world where technology will envelop every aspect of our lives. It will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world. Hyper-Reality attempts to explore this exciting but dangerous trajectory. It was crowdfunded, and shot on location in Medellín, Colombia.”
If you’ve used VR technologies like Oculus Rift, you’ll know they’re both stimulating but also thoroughly exhausting; as the range of stimulation is diverse and intense. That said, my experience was nothing like this worldview, as presented by Keiichi. If you’re curious what a hyper-accelerated augmented world could look like, I strongly advise you spending 6 minutes of your life on this. Oh - I wouldn’t be surprised if you watch it several times. There’s a lot to take in!
Above all, I feel that this video demonstrates the importance of maintaining our mindfulness under the assault of a world of increasingly layered complexity.
That said, if you’re reading this post, you’re the one stepping gingerly into virtual worlds. Future generations will find themselves immersed in them from birth and presumably will find their brains adapt accordingly. I’m reminded of a teacher friend who took her class of six year olds to the aquarium two years ago. She was shocked to see one of the pupils trying to ‘swipe’ the dolphin tank. While we might struggle to adapt to these new environments, perhaps our children's children will struggle when their worlds reboot - or even go offline. There's a thought!