The altered reality game

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Say you are at your desk, working with seven floating high-res screens that display real-time updates of whatever it is you need to track. You stand up, move away and the screens stay in the same place. Your assistant enters the office and you talk to her moving your eyes slightly above the geeky glasses you are wearing. The first thing – the floating screens – that’s Mixed Reality (MR). Not to be confused with Augmented Reality (AR). The difference? The fact that in MR things maintain their position as you move. You can approach them as you would real-world objects. In AR, things move with you. Virtual Reality, as you know, it’s all about making your senses think they are somewhere else. The game has been on for quite a while and my bet is on MR. When new tech stuff starts in productivity lane – as happened with personal computers in the early eighties – they become (if useful, of course) rapidly adopted and then adapted for fun, while when things start in the realm of fun, well, they fail really fast if expectations are not immediately met. Just as smartphones almost rendered unnecessary cameras, recorders, e-readers, and other individual, stand-alone devices, MR will make our physical displays look like a thing of the past. Mark my words. As if it weren’t enough, we will have more hyper-ultra-15k-HD screens available than what we can honestly manage. But such is the future: more information, more “virtuality”, more accessibility, and more omnipresence.
By Aaron Benitez