Personal reality bubbles aren’t a future I want
Wireless Technologies

Personal reality bubbles aren’t a future I want

Outside of the usual talk of how the enterprise will adopt mixed reality tech first and hearables will one day be a big market, this year’s Wearable Tech Show in London suggested an interesting future around how mixed reality headsets could be used to warp our own realities in the real world, in real time.

We’re told we’ll be able to create “personal realities” and make the landscape look how we want, ensure people see us exactly how we want to be seen – whether man, woman, troll, dolphin etc. – and that headsets are just the tip of an iceberg which will one day include full haptics, scent, and more. Not just like Second Life through an Oculus Rift, but more akin to a HoloLens or Magic Leap which distorts reality as you go about your daily life. This sounds terrifying. And that’s before you even start addressing the issue of whether or not we’ll need an Adblocker in our day to day ‘existence’.

HYPER-REALITY from Keiichi Matsuda on Vimeo

Anyone who has read Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One [mild spoilers below] might find this concept familiar; millions of people living entire lives detached from the real world in constructs of their own making. While the digital world in the story sounds entertaining, the description of the physical world mean can only be labelled as dystopian. People never leave their houses, never see or touch another human being, even have entire marriages through these realities. It’s not a future I particularly want to see come to pass.

Human existence is based on the accepted theory that we all share one reality. We already live in an incredibly divisive time as it is, and letting people build even more artificial walls to separate themselves from what is real seems like a bad way to better connect people. It might be a shitty reality at times, but the only way to make it better is to accept we all live in it and work towards fixing things, not finding increasingly immersive ways to escape it.

 

Hackers bursting our personal bubbles

In this “personal bubble” reality, we’re warned, security will be more of an imperative than ever. Not only would hackers be able to destroy your digital world, but also manipulate it. And in a world where people like Darren Brown can not only actively manipulate people to his way of thinking but apparently also hypnotise them to kill people, that seems like a recipe for disaster.

Ironically, the audience was told to avoid being too “creepy” with some its ideas – for example being able to bring up all publicly available information and profiles of people in front of you – but it sounds like the future will be creepy enough.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech from driverless cars, AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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Comments

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Eric Cabot Steed on March 25 2017

I will admit to Googling the Title, and actually putting a Short Cut on my desktop, reading & rereading with care. The first thing I asked myself was ' What Is The Very Nature of This Reality to which the Author Alludes? ' ...

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Catherine SIMON on April 02 2017

This is the most important message of your article: the only way to make our real life better is to accept we all live in it and work towards fixing things, not finding increasingly immersive ways to escape it. Instead of putting your head down in a "Naturepod - virtual reality immersing you in the beauty of Nature", we shall use technology as a means to repair our own damages to our planet. VR masks won't produce the fresh air we all have to breathe. We have a physical body, let's wake up to our full senses!

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David PIGGOTT on April 08 2017

FINALLY! - this discussion is beginning!!! Technophilia & neophilia linked with greed and ignorance are the greatest threats - not just to humanity but to life itself on this amazing sphere we live on. Let's challenge the virtual reality escapist narcissistic entrepreneurial junkies out there to help use technology wisely. This planet is not a magic pudding. Humans - all of us, are breathing and sharing animals - We all use and NEED the same atmosphere & water. Let's get it in a healthy state.

no-images

Eric Cabot Steed on March 25 2017

I will admit to Googling the Title, and actually putting a Short Cut on my desktop, reading & rereading with care. The first thing I asked myself was ' What Is The Very Nature of This Reality to which the Author Alludes? ' ...

no-images

Catherine SIMON on April 02 2017

This is the most important message of your article: the only way to make our real life better is to accept we all live in it and work towards fixing things, not finding increasingly immersive ways to escape it. Instead of putting your head down in a "Naturepod - virtual reality immersing you in the beauty of Nature", we shall use technology as a means to repair our own damages to our planet. VR masks won't produce the fresh air we all have to breathe. We have a physical body, let's wake up to our full senses!

no-images

David PIGGOTT on April 08 2017

FINALLY! - this discussion is beginning!!! Technophilia & neophilia linked with greed and ignorance are the greatest threats - not just to humanity but to life itself on this amazing sphere we live on. Let's challenge the virtual reality escapist narcissistic entrepreneurial junkies out there to help use technology wisely. This planet is not a magic pudding. Humans - all of us, are breathing and sharing animals - We all use and NEED the same atmosphere & water. Let's get it in a healthy state.

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