“I’m a skeptic,” a seasoned filmmaker, let’s call her Mary, told me not long ago standing in the middle of a VR festival. “I’m a skeptic when it comes to virtual reality.” No matter how many times I hear it, I am always perplexed. I gave her my standard comeback, “What are you skeptical about exactly?” adding, “I honestly don’t understand because we don’t know what it is yet.” Mary makes wonderful movies and while she said the word skeptical, her eyes screamed disbeliever. She’s convinced stories can’t be told in the waters of this evolving three dimensional technologies.
She’s not the only one, I meet lots of self-described skeptics logging miles among technologists, entrepreneurs, educators, investors, health providers, multi national corporations, creatives, governments, corporate leaders, and basically, anyone interested in the Fourth Revolution (see chart above).
Routinely, I also ask them all to hold off a minute and better yet, dig in, check out what’s being made (seeing as much of the content is being created for the first time), keep an open mind and even better think about how this might actually work in their domain of expertise.
Keep in mind, among the cyber-physical system sit emerging technologies of virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and artificial intelligence. It’s not just one technology that is the question, it’s a number of viable technologies, like computer visualization and mobile computing power, that are driving incredible possibilities among emerging technologies. They are huge buckets of potentially life changing tools defined by the nature of the hardware if any, software, content and application.
We live in a three dimensional world. It’s virtually impossible to think that this ability to manipulate things in and about our world in 3 dimensions will not find relevance and scale accordingly. Life is nothing but change and tech is innovating faster than most would have imagined even 50 years ago. I mean, Google’s not even twenty years old and many of us, certainly above a certain age, cannot really recall the world before the search engine arrival.
For almost four years now there has been a yearly influx of new headsets, applications and creations into the marketplace. New. It’s all new. Before we dismiss virtual or augmented or mixed reality, envelope it in a choke hold of skepticism, let’s first truly investigate how it might be relevant in your life or your work.