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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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