Whether you dismiss it as science fiction or not, virtual reality is inevitable. Just as self-flushing toilets that rely on sensor flush systems are a common reality today, though once probably a subject of humor, the communication of tomorrow is voiceless, virtually telepathic and touch-free; in other words, completely thought-based.
Laptops, tablets and smartphones will all no longer exist three decades from now; a factual tech reality that is reliably foreseeable with currently known facts about developments in the broad technological industry landscape.
With direct to skull or brain sound systems already developed for wearable computers, such as that incorporated into the not yet released Google Glass, brainwave computing technology is fast developing in commercial laboratories, alongside experiments in neuro-gaming. Communication is expected to be a key focus of thought controlled computing for consumer application.
When you are logging in to virtual or digital spaces by thought and communicating with thought, from anywhere and everywhere, without touch or voice, and you have technology that allows the user to experience more than sight and sound in the virtual environment accessible over the web, the Facebook and the Google+ in their current avatars are going to be obsolete, and to say the least, absolutely boring.
It goes without saying that social media and social network giants will foresee the changes in technologies that are impending . As these technologies evolve, those giants will evolve themselves, and new inventors with new ideas will enter the fray with new platforms for social interaction and exchange.
The future of social media and networking by 2050 will most likely be as such; we’ll be meeting known or random people, in environments our minds either select or concoct, that will be facilitated by software created to interpret our thoughts and build virtual environments to our taste.
For instance, in the future, I could be sitting in my living room, accessing the web with my thoughts, and entering a virtual bar in a virtual space, and asking the network to populate it with people of specific characteristics or backgrounds that I’d be interested in. I could approach them just like I do in live environments today at meetup or networking sessions. Those people will be seeing me come forth and approach them in the avatar I have chosen or designed for myself, that is not ‘cartoony’ like present day animated avatars, but life like, in their own virtual environments.
For example, as I am in a virtual environment of a bar, an environment I enjoy, and I could meet Helena, who is in a virtual environment that is the beach, according to her preferences. We’d be seeing different things around us in the virtual world, but we’d still be talking to each other. And we’ll have options to show each other our chosen virtual environments. Helena and I could be from completely different backgrounds, from different parts of the world, and we may not even speak the same language. For example, she may only know Greek, and I English, however, whatever she’d say would be instantly translated to English for me in voice format, and whatever I’d say would be translated into Greek. Language will not be a social barrier and nothing will be lost in translation.
And when this is possible, why stop at a bar or a beach? Why not a Heaven or a paradise that you can imagine? With thought controlled computing software, you would not need great competencies to translate thought, imagination or ideas into designs or creations in the virtual space. If they are online, anybody you are thinking of or missing can be communicated with instantly in a virtual environment of your choice, whether that is a living room, outdoors or on a hot-air balloon.
We will likely be able to hangout with friends from across the continents, all speaking different languages, but able to understand each other thanks to translation features of social platforms. Will be able to watch movies with them in a virtual cinema, pausing the film in between when anyone in the group desires, and make conversation without missing out on any bit of the on-screen action or story. Or we could race each other on the virtual go-cart track or F1 track, in a virtual F1 car off course, feeling it all as if it were real. Yet if an accident happened, we would not get hurt or killed. It is inevitable that neurogaming and social networking will merge.
Consider this: while sitting in your living room in Nairobi, you could be walking the streets of Rome or Paris, tapping on 360 degree view cameras placed in those cities feeding the online platforms, snapping pictures of yourself, without a camera, with the help of the necessary software features in the virtual environment and save them.
Currently, you can only do much for entertainment or socialising or networking with people. Just imagine what the next level of virtual social media or networking technology can do for the world of work. Imagine that you wake up, have your coffee, get onto a massage chair, put on your HMD device and login to your virtual workspace. It would be a playground of your choosing, where you could interact with your colleagues and clients in an environment that is most comfortable and conducive for you. Whatever you discuss, determine or decide, is adequately recorded, charted and stored.
Of course, with the advent of such virtual platforms, there are many ethical, moral, social and legal questions which will certainly become a reality before 2050. Those questions will have to be addressed; not along the way, but before the upgrade of social media from 2D or 3D into Virtual Reality. There will most likely be a great deal of disruption that the advance in social media & networking will bring about, but nonetheless, it is all exciting.
Image Source: Flickr
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