What happens when the virtual world that exists on our phones, computers, and the internet at large is projected into the environment around us? All of those cat GIFs, how-to videos, news reports, ads, Wikipedia entries, and customer reviews will become physical manifestations of themselves. Kinda sounds like a future dystopian film chock full of holograms, but our future will be far less obvious than most movies suggest.
When scientists and futurists discuss the future of human evolution, many conclude that a merger of mind and machine is inevitable. The result could be an ever connected culture, continually experiencing social #FOMO and a content industry clamoring for 100% of our attention. The Reality Complex, ranging from the real world to completely virtual environments, is being navigated by more people on more devices as AR and VR become commonplace. When MR experiences become more commonplace the line between physical and virtual realities will become fundamentally blurred.
Our own biases will also play a large role in the designed realities we’ll inhabit. Implicit bias will influence our virtual worlds even more than they do our physical simply because they will be easier to change. The environment will be cloaked in a designed reality of one’s own making (or someone else’s). Will we be able to turn it off or see through it? Maybe the real question is; will we even want to?