Documenting the Coming Singularity

Sunday, September 09, 2012

What's Next? HUDSpace, VR and AR

Ramblings in Valve Time - September 7, 2012 by Michael Abrash

If you’re not familiar with VR and AR, VR is the one where you sit down, put on a headset, and find yourself completely immersed in a virtual world like Snow Crash’s Metaverse or Ready Player One’s OASIS (and if you haven’t read Ready Player One, run don’t walk; it’s a great read, especially if you grew up in the 80’s, but even if not – I didn’t, and I still loved it). AR is the one where you put on glasses and walk around, and find that the real world is still there, but modified to a lesser or greater extent, as in Rainbow’s End’s belief circles or the Rivet Couture virtual society of “To Hie from Far Cilenia.”

So with VR, you might take a seat at your computer, put on your VR headset, and find yourself in Middle Earth or a starship or a Team Fortress 2 level. With AR, as you walk down the (real) street wearing your AR glasses you might find that there are (virtual) aliens shooting at you, or that when you encounter (real) members of your Belief Circle they’re wearing (virtual) medieval costumes and glowing faintly, or, to continue the TF2 analogy, that everyone you see is wearing virtual hats.

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