What is reality? Is it what we perceive or is there some objective truth? Philosophers have debated that question for over 1,000 years. In the future, it will only become more complicated as we are able to perceive things that are not there.
Augmented reality (AR) provides the user with additional information that cannot be obtained using our normal sensory system. The Nintendo game, Pokémon Go, represents an early look at augmented reality and how it can be used for entertainment. In the game, your location in the real world affects what you can do in the game. It’s an interesting concept that will surely be expanded in the future.
Augmented reality adds to what already exists, but virtual reality creates a whole new world to explore and interact with. One can envision that virtual reality will be used by many to escape the boredom of everyday life. As technology improves, will people even want to experience the real world? Will they be able to tell the difference?
Mixed reality (MR) could offer a possible solution; MR combines the physical world with elements of a virtual world to produce an entirely different form of perception. Imagine walking in the park but being able to see a dragon from your favorite RPG flying overhead. This could be possible soon.
Extended reality (XR) is a term that encompasses AR, VR, and MR. It’s unclear where technology will take us over the next decade. What does seem clear is that the question of what is real will take on whole new dimensions in the next few years.