"As the Internet of Everything advances, the very notion of a clear dividing line between reality and virtual reality becomes blurred, sometimes in creative ways." -Geoff Mulgan
There's a lot of hype these days about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, and for a good reason. It seems that VR&AR is going to be the next big thing in the world of media and entertainment.
The main difference between the two technologies is that VR gives you a totally immersive experience of "being there", and AR, on the other hand, actually overlays holographic images and data over the physical reality. Over the next few years, however, these two technologies will start to converge, and eventually, all you need is only one device, such as Internet-enabled bionic contact lenses.
VR CAMERAS. A whole array of 3-D, 360-degree, VR-enabled cameras is about to hit the consumer market which will contribute to the VR industry explosive growth. With real-time streaming such cameras can "teleport" you to a live sporting event, concert, popular venue or picturesque spot around the globe.
VR GAMES. New VR games with full immersion into the game environment will transform the gamer's experience.
REMOTE LEARNING. With Virtual Reality, remote learning will take the whole new meaning. You can be in a classroom without actually being there!
VR EXPERIENCES. With this kind of technology, you can relive and share your most precious moments exactly as they were, be it your wedding, birthday party, or tropical vacation!
VISIONARIES. New visionaries, such as Elon Musk of Tesla or Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, should appear who would revolutionize the fledgling VR industry and take it to the higher standards.
CINEMATIC VR. In short time we can have cinema adopting new full immersion VR format. Imagine experiencing Avatar sequel in such an interactive and fully immersive format, where you can choose the outcome of the plot or even interact with the characters. Star Trek-style holo-novel, anyone?
METAVERSE. Metaverse, 3-D successor to the 2-D Internet (Web 3.0, or 4.0?), where instead of Web pages there are virtual places, will be changing the way we interact. Even the nature of romantic relationships and human sexuality will be charged somewhat. Meet your friends or loved ones at a virtual, but completely realistic, "Le Café de Paris" or hike on a trail in California redwoods even though you may be separated by huge distances and continents in physical reality!
We won't need to commute, or otherwise travel for business needs and attend the professional conventions in a traditional way anymore. Anything could be arranged in virtual environments with greater efficiency.
VR-ENABLING NANOBOTS. At some point nanotechnology will start to enter the VR space which will enable us to further perfection our VR experience. We can have virtual bodies which will feel 100% realistic. Nanobots, the size of a blood cell, will enter your blood stream and create virtual environments from within your nervous system. So when you eat a virtual steak it will taste just like a real thing, or if you find yourself on a virtual beach it will be felt completely real including the water if you decide to swim!
SIMULATED WORLDS. In the not-so-distant future Virtual Worlds can be created in a blink of an eye coming right out of your imagination. We'll never get bored because we'll have millions of virtualities to choose from and share!
BETTER THAN "MATERIAL"? VR will be so much better, more colorful, more versatile, more educational, more entertaining, more engaging in every way than a mundane reality of everyday life, and consequently, highly "addictive" in a good sense. Possibilities for virtualities are truly limitless! And that's where we're in total control!
CONVERGENCE OF REALITIES. Eventually, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality, and physical reality will get so intertwined, so that they'll get so completely indistinguishable. We all will be living in techno-paradise, an ECSTADELIC MATRIX of our making!
-by Alex Vikoulov, founder & creative director of Ecstadelic Media (San Francisco, CA), futurist, strategic philosopher, and media artist.
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*Image Credit: Shutterstock
**Video from The Mini-Series "Ecstadelics with Alex Vikoulov"