The promise of immersive digital worlds—where anything is possible—is as enticing as it has been long in coming. The concept has been around in science-fiction for decades. The promise was made in books like Neuromancer and Snow Crash, TV shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation, and movies like The Matrix and Johnny Mnemonic.
However, practical application of the most well known digital reality, “Virtual Reality”—or VR— has always seemed to be just on the horizon. We’ve heard the promise that it’s just “a few years away” at least since the early 1990s, but it has never achieved widespread adaption.
Although the technology was there, and there were many attempts to bring VR to the public, no one was ready to start wearing the bulky hardware on a daily basis.
Recently, though, with improvements in computer speeds, wearable screens, and the popular acceptance of wearable computer technology, creating immersive computer generated realities finally seems to be arriving.
However, rather than VR, we are seeing more promise in Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. Although all three techniques present a digitally rendered experience shown from the participant’s point-of-view, they do so in unique ways.