Hyper reality: merging physical and virtual realities

Hyper Reality

Augmented reality will be a huge part of our individual and collective experiences in the not too distant future. Our daily lives will be like a journey in virtual reality except in actual reality, immersively overlaid with personalized information that we will engage with, where everything we do is part of a giant contest that awards points to reward behaviours and actions.

This is a future vision that I think is persuasively presented in a high-definition video (embedded below) that runs a little over six minutes, created by London based designer and film-maker Keiichi Matsuda.

It’s a project Matsuda calls Hyper Reality:

Hyper-Reality presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media.

Since I posted this video on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, I’ve seen reference to it across the social web. It has captured imaginations: read Matt O’Neill’s post this week, for instance, to see his take.

A number of things intrigue me about Matsuda’s vision, and that make it highly credible to my eyes. When you watch it, you’ll notice how seamlessly various languages are presented, both in text and in audio. The woman protagonist we see in the six-minute journey on a bus, then a walk downtown, and a supermarket visit in the city of Medellín, Colombia, is a native Spanish-speaker but has no difficulty with English and Japanese that we see and hear.

That is exactly how I see a future where technology breaks down language barriers for us in ways that seem so simple yet require smart, cognitive, acts that are able to process live conversation in one language while converting it instantly and accurately in multiple other languages.

The video is in the woman’s first-person perspective. Does that suggest what she’s seeing, hearing and experiencing is presented via a Google Glass-like device she wears? I can’t imagine it would be like a Gear VR headset.

And think about the data – structured and unstructured – and network availability, connectivity and bandwidth. If this scenario is a possible part of our future, you’re looking at a tech landscape of immense scope and scale if many people are going to experience their lives like this. It’s not just the computing horsepower to process all this stuff to think about: it’s the content creation and the engagement that is seamless and instantaneous that requires actual cognition, as well as processing power.

Sounds like something right up my friend Watson‘s street :)

But without further ado, here’s the video (if you don’t see the embed below, view it on YouTube or Vimeo). Watch it full screen in HD for the best experience.

What do you think? Can you imagine this in your future?