The tree canopy looms far above you and the sounds of spider monkeys and macaws fill the air. The tiny beams of light that manage to fight their way through the dense tree tops bring enough light to find your way but just. The smell of decaying plant life fills your head.
You have been here a while now, waiting, watching, praying not to be discovered knowing that eventually we all get found. Then it happens.
In the distance you hear footsteps and they are getting closer, louder. Then suddenly a frantic banging noise frightens off the spider monkeys in the trees above and it appears as if out of nowhere.
The door to your bedroom opens and your roommate is yelling at you to pick up the phone. Too bad, you were so close to winning the game.
The gaming industry is not quite to Holodeck status (Trekkies know what I am talking about) but we are getting closer than ever to a completely immersive gaming experience. Both Virtual Reality tech and Augmented Reality tech have been growing exponentially in recent years and we the gamer will reap the benefits of that technology soon.
All the tech captains of industry have jumped on board and bought into the new tech showing their willingness to mass market it. They are already buying up the small tech companies that are inventing, enhancing and engineering these new technologies.
Augmented Reality, sometimes referred to as Mixed Reality in my opinion is by far the more stunning of the new tech out there. Augmented Reality is the seamless blending of virtual images and real world objects. Want a Robot to drop out of your attic? A tank to run over your neighbor’s lawn? An alien invasion in your basement? This is how you make it happen. The technology aims to make anything possible anywhere using your real surroundings and augmenting it with fun things to do and silly things to blow up. This I find is a little less disorienting than Virtual Reality in that if someone walks in on you while you are frantically blasting alien creatures you will actually see them as opposed to them having to tap you on the shoulder and quite possibly scare the mushrooms out of you. Augmented Reality technology also has applications reaching beyond gaming to the wider community as a whole with an emphasis on corporate and engineering applications.
Every industry from manufacturing to medicine to construction could benefit greatly from this technology and although the tech looks good I don’t think they are done improving it quite yet. I can’t wait to experience the final product.
Virtual Reality is a totally immersive experience. It attacks all of your senses, except maybe smell….for now. When immersed a virtual game the gamer can lose touch with his present day real surroundings. On occasion that could be a good thing. The tech is getting better and the hardware associated with it is getting, smaller, lighter, cheaper and overall more user friendly so I am sure we will all have a headset in the near future, just beware of that unexpected shoulder tap.
We are not there yet but soon we will be able to go anywhere. Get your jungle pants on people!
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