Real, augmented, virtual?

Reality is in the news these days. Earlier this month Facebook announced its rebranding and gave a sneak-peek of their vision of virtual reality. This led to a smart spoof from the people marketing Iceland as a tourist destination: Introducing the Icelandverse, where reality is real and tangible.

Then there are those who believe the future isn’t virtual but augmented reality. Like John Hanke who founded Niantic labs and had many of us chasing Pokemons around town. His approach is not to replace reality with the virtual but to augment it, show how there can be more than meets the eye.

We’re at a fork in the road. The future that I am describing is the one that’s going to win. It’s one where computing stays with us, disappearing into the background and supporting what we’re doing. It is ubiquitous computing, which goes back to the early work at Xerox PARC. I feel like that vision of the future has gotten somehow lost temporarily as people have become fascinated with these online 3D worlds.

It’s going to be fascinating to see how this develops.