Category Archives: Culture

On Mixed Reality and the Brave New Virtual World

“Social Network” by Kevin Dooley, used under CC 2.0

We are on the cusp of a great awakening and evolution through emerging tech.

Consider.

Our brains, which are themselves highly complex organic computers, collectively comprise this vast, great network. “Humanity.” Your body is essentially an organic bio-shell – a highly advanced haptic suit, designed specifically to allow it to fully experience the physical world in which it exists, through the five senses – sight, smell, touch, sound, taste –  for the purpose of sending information to your brain from the time it develops in the womb, gathering, categorizing and storing data in a complex database deep within the brain where memory is stored.

 The information your brain gathers through the body about the physical world around it is simply data, random chunks of categorized and cross-referenced information  that the brain stores in memory for when you might need to access it later. The body gathers all this data through the senses, but data stored in databases of any kind isn’t terribly useful in and of itself without writing programs that access them, selectively pulling from that vast amount of data, examining the patterns, extrapolating from information at hand to make assumptions, and outputting more data.
“My Social Network” by Luc Legay, used under CC 2.0

Now here we are just past the midpoint of 2017, and Microsoft is investing heavily in pushing what they (and a few others) are called “mixed reality,” they’re partnered with Oculus, and meanwhile Zuckerberg and Facebook are churning away at integrating our collective obsession with the social network – one of our biggest sources of personal and interpersonal information – even more deeply into our daily lives. Apple is said be announcing something big with augmented reality in the fall and if you believe Robert Scoble (which I tend to on this) it’s going to be mind-blowing. Google is politely ignoring the term “mixed reality” for now, preferring to coin its own phrase with “immersive computing.”  We are at the beginnings of profoundly evolving the very way in which we as human beings gather data, communicate and connect with each other in ways that centuries ago – even decades ago – we could never have considered outside our imaginations. But the things we imagine with our brains evolve over time into things that become real.

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On the Evolution of Music in the Virtual Future

The Posies’ Jon Auer on set in front of Two-Bit Circus’ Google Jump Rig

One of the things we’re most interested in exploring at WonderTek Labs is the space where art and audience intersect, and nowhere does this have more power and potential than within the intersection of music, immersive theater techniques and tricks, and emerging technology. Since we started WonderTek Labs, we’ve been deep-thinking about how all these things might fit together in a future where technology and the ability of audiences to interact with the music artists create begins to shift what music even means.

All art exists in three spaces: First within the mind of the artist; second within its physical manifestation as a work of art the artist creates; and third in the space where that art intersects with each individual who experiences that work.  As currently emerging technologies being developed now in the 360 video, virtual reality, augmented reality, extended reality spaces and artificial intelligence continue to expand and evolve, we are going to bear witness to a complete reimagining of what music and art mean.  We at WonderTek Labs are working with highly creative music clients at the forefront of cutting edge (in some cases bleeding edge) technology to help shape this future.

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