Maybe It's Digital - Not Virtual - 'Reality'

Lots of news. Lots of commentary. Lots of noise about Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality. And it got me to thinking.

It takes about two seconds to find an article on the internet asking whether we are real. Even postulating that the universe itself might in fact just be a simulation. Like this one for example. 

‘Virtual Reality’, by definition describes a reality that is (nearly) like ours (that is after all the original meaning of the word ‘virtual’). How long therefore before ‘virtual reality and ‘real reality’ are essentially indistinguishable? And then what?

I have a feeling that just as the iPhone is actually a misnomer - yes it is a phone - but the name belies the underlying power of the device that so many people carry in their hands. And there are many more historical artifacts such as 

  • Unused ‘footage’ from a movie, and who hasn’t asked for 
  • a ‘dial in’ number, when seeking to join an online conference call.

Fast forward to the future … we will have 

  • the reality that we ‘know ‘-  that which most people consider to be their physical space
  • the online reality - an alternative reality that is ‘in the computers’
  • the augmented reality - where the computer’s reality is layered on our physical space

It might make more sense to think of it all in terms of

  • physical reality - a world that we observe without computers 
  • digital reality - a world that we observe with computers
  • augmented reality - where we layer the digital reality on top of our physical reality

John Philpin @JohnPhilpin
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