If you could choose between a countless number of realities — would you choose this one?
The visceral experience of hopping between and mixing digital and physical worlds is beautifully depicted in a new crowdfunded short film, “Hyper-Reality.” The film’s creator, Keiichi Matsuda, says virtual reality, augmented reality, wearables, and the internet of things will soon infuse our lives with technology as never before.
“It will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world,” Matsuda says. “Hyper-Reality attempts to explore this exciting but dangerous trajectory.”
If the future of augmented reality is anything like the above experience — security may not be the only issue. Will a future of seamless augmented realities become just another escape from the ordinary world? And what role will distraction play?
As each new piece of technology comes along, the uphill battle for balance only becomes more difficult, requiring more mindfulness.
“Ultimately, we each have to choose how we interact with technology and what our own comfort levels with it are,” Alison Berman writes. “The greater awareness and honesty we have about its strengths and weaknesses, the better we can make healthy decisions about how to use it in our own lives — individually and collectively.”
No matter what new technologies may come next, the interior world we inhabit is still our own choice—and there’s great value in curating a healthy personal worldview despite outside circumstances.
While he was still alive, the author Robert Anton Wilson frequently explored the idea of subjective worlds or “reality-tunnels” as he called them. The preface to his book, Cosmic Trigger, expresses what control we have in creating them.
Wilson writes that since we’re all constantly creating our own reality tunnels, “I prefer to create for each hour the happiest, funniest, and most romantic reality-tunnel consistent with the signals my brain apprehends.” As for those struggling with a negative, sad or a hopeless reality tunnel, “try to show them how to break the bad habit, but don't feel any masochistic duty to share their misery.”
While the future of augmented and virtual worlds is still just forming — spending some time thinking about what worlds we’d like to inhabit probably wouldn’t hurt.
What world would you inhabit if you had the choice?
Image credit: Hyper-Reality