I have to believe that, you know we’re here in 2018, it’s much cheaper and easier to move bits around than it is atoms...
It strikes me that something like VR or AR or even video conferencing (on the path to that) has to be a more likely part of the solution than just building a ton of infrastructure.
- Mark Zuckerburg. Recode:Decode podcast 7/18/18
We agree with Mark, for now. But in the future, should we accept that moving atoms will always be more expensive than bits? If that axiom doesn’t hold, should everyone be investing so heavily in VR?
Let’s leave aside that Mark really should have said “photons” instead of “bits”, that is a small detail. It has long been accepted that a “virtual” world is one presented through some sort of device that sits on your head and shoots photons into your eyeballs, movement is secondary. There are some companies like The Void that are taking it one step further and allowing you to physically walk around a space with a VR device on your head. That stuff seems really cool.
But think for a second about two of the most popular references for the completely immersive experience of a virtual world...
1) The Matrix. All I have to say is, does anyone REALLY want a computer plug in your skull directly interfacing with their brain? Yes, this a concept whose day may come to pass, but I can’t see it anytime in the next 50 years.
2) The Star Trek Holodeck. You use your own eyes and body. Nothing sits on your head. It seems real because your actions are real and you ‘see’ things as real.
I’ve been a Trekkie for a long time. That’s the future for me. I want to move in a space and feel the space around me. I want the space to change based on the plot line of the experience I requested. The visual part is only one of my senses to engage. There are companies like Looking Glass Factory, that are building real holographic image generators. Once these become life sized and are paired with the Manipulated Reality platform that we are building at TheMissionZone...the Holodeck will be real!
Stay tuned for some awesomeness in the future. We think there is a lot of short-termism in the AR/VR space right now. Moving atoms and Manipulating Reality will be way cooler in the future.