As we saw in class, Microsoft is testing a new product called HoloLens, which incorporates hologram technology into our daily lives. Basically, if you want to check the weather, HoloLens puts a virtual screen before you. If you want to play a game, HoloLens creates a 3-D hologram of the game as if it were actually in front of you. It’s a new frontier called virtual reality, and it’s expected to be the technology of the future. Except this future is beginning to happen right now.
Amy Webb talks about how technology will move away from devices we hold to built-in, invisible sources of information. I think there is some truth to this prediction, and HoloLens is an example of this. Instead of holding a phone and checking an app for weather, the screen will just appear in front of you. By wearing the device, the information is no longer at your fingertips–it’s within your line of sight on demand.
This all seems pretty great, but honestly, it scares me a little bit. The technology will be amazing, but what will it do to our perception of reality? I really think there’s a good chance reality as we know it will be distorted. Put this in the context of a smartphone. Smartphone use consumes a large part of our days, so think about this same amount of time being spent in a world of virtual reality. None of us can imagine life without our smartphones now, so in the future will we be unable to imagine life in actual reality all the time? Virtual screens and 3-D holograms will become the norm, but if you ask me, this virtual reality idea could cause more problems than it’s worth. I would argue that it’ll be vital to our psychological health as humans to learn how to unplug from this type of technology.
Of course, there’s no way to tell until the future is here. But here’s what I do know: there’s nothing like the real world.