Not because it can’t be created, but because it is not a bad idea.
It is entirely possible, albeit difficult due to the numerous extremely complex and intriguing risks that must be addressed. These risks include those related to human perception, haptics, foveated rendering, incredibly light optics and compute, low-latency network interconnects, and edge processing of a massively sharded but contiguous world.
It’s an amazing field day for technologists who adore building the future and are masters of their trade thanks to the breadth of rich and intriguing components.
My first true startup job after college was at There.com, where we were creating the Metaverse. One of the other workers even had a licence plate that read “SNWCRASH” or something close.
To enable you to use your ears to go to the closest party, I created an MP3 jukebox that streamed audio from a Shoutcast server and rendered the sounds in 3D.
Fun was had.
To ensure that no other firm was ever so thoroughly destroyed in that way again, Eric, one of the other engineers working on the project, launched The Lean Startup movement.
(I don’t believe Eric is against the Metaverse; he’s just against businesses operating in super-stealth mode for more than five years.)
The Metaverse should not be created since there would be unhappiness there.
The majority of people, in my opinion, don’t want to spend the entire day by themselves, connected to a headset, partaking in virtual activities like playing video games, experiencing virtual reality, and taking virtual trips.
I believe that authentic humans made of meat take pleasure in the same activities that other socially-oriented living things do, such as going on walks in the outdoors, eating with friends, feeling the sun on our skin, breathing in fresh air, getting enough sleep, and hugging, kissing, high-fiving, and tackling one another.
These are the kinds of life experiences that help people be happy and fulfilled.
A significant portion of the world’s population has been given a computer display as part of a huge experiment that has been underway for roughly ten years.
The incredible, beautiful, and wondrous things this has made possible are undeniably numerous, but I don’t think it’s possible to look at the influence this has had overall, particularly on youth, and conclude that attaching that screen to our eyes would result in a net improvement on the human condition.
You won’t use a VR headset in public places.
You are unable to make eye contact with the other person and are unaware of their feelings.
Therefore, you won’t be wearing it while lying on the couch with guests present.
or inside a bus.
Or in a space with an open layout.
You’ll put it on when you’re by yourself in a tight space.
This restricts the use of VR to a few isolated, transient applications.
Although AR is a natural contrast to this issue, it has several other problems that haven’t been thoroughly investigated.
Because of the information asymmetry that AR creates, you and I no longer share a sense of space and time. This is why AR is “rude.”
You might be reading your email or spotting a lovely bird if you’re peering over my shoulder.
In real life, we look at each other to see where our attention is focused.
It doesn’t seem plausible that technology will change this innate understanding that meaningful eye contact between speaker and listener is a strong signal of intimacy and attentiveness.
Therefore, someone looking around while wearing a headset could be using the information we’re discussing to start a dialogue.
Or perhaps they’re immersed in a video game where dragons devour my arms.
It’s like you’re always looking down at your phone throughout conversations.
The importance of social approval in the adoption of new technology seems to be under-accounted for.
The inability of Google Glass was not due to poor camera quality or underpowered computers.
Others in the room didn’t want a camera recorder pointed at them, which is why Glass failed (even when off).
People that wore them were labelled “Glassholes” because it disrupted societal conventions.
Contrarily, fitness bands (and later Apple Watch) were successful because it has long been socially acceptable to wear objects on your wrist. While looking down at your wrist may be a sign of mild distraction or boredom, I’d argue that it is a less severe signal than taking out your phone to go on the internet, for example.
Technologies must conform to societal standards of how people desire to interact with one another if they are to be socially accepted.
Good technologies will encourage individuals to engage in activities that have been shown to make people happy, healthy, and contented.
None of these are accomplished by AR, VR, or “XR.”
It’s more interesting — and possibly even more difficult — to consider technologies that are undetectable, that blend into the background and subtly prompt us to do things like get up or take a moment to breathe.
Imagine bestowing upon everyone a magical secretary who knows when to bother you about something and when to avoid interrupting, who can suggest enjoyable encounters, activities, and exercises, who aids in the learning of new subjects, and who aids in guided introspection to aid in reflection on the calibre of your decisions.
a universe of real “user agents” that may assist us in becoming the individuals we want to be and in leading happy, fulfilling lives.
Technology has the power to guide us in this direction, toward self-realization and utopia.
I’m hoping we can concentrate on this.
not in solitude with headphones.