A dictionary defines going down the rabbit hole as a metaphor for something that transports someone into a surreal state or situation. That’s exactly what immersive technology can do. I first started experimenting with this almost twenty years when the early technology became widely available in 2003.
I lost my enthusiasm because of my errant ways. In the online world I joined, you could fly. I loved that and I always immediately lifted off, before I really knew how to get around in any effective way. I would fly out over the land, get to the ocean and keep going. When I finally turned around I couldn’t see the land anymore and I couldn’t get back! I had to sign up again as a new character. I did this three times in a row. I am sure that says something about my personality.
Now that we can create entire worlds using immersive technology, there will be new frontiers in what can be done together. For instance, I attended an event that viewed a 3-ton crane and pulled the workings apart so attendees could look inside the engine to see how it worked while it was working. In another, I had the opportunity to view an integrated circuit chip and look down pathways that were only nanometers in height. One nanometer is equal to a row of 10 hydrogen atoms.
It gave me the same thrill as flying out over the ocean except I didn’t have any trouble getting back. I also attended events where the avatars (the humans in the virtual world) looked very much like their real selves. Using a photo the computer-generated an appearance similar to real life. Looking at my host, I could see his entire body, head to toe. And I could easily look around behind him. As a result, I experienced a visceral sense of his presence. When we shook hands, our hands lit up and I felt a sense of connection. Literally felt it.
There’s so much more to say here, about the zen garden where I relaxed between events, the experience of rain that included everything except getting wet, and the locomotive that came off of a flat-screen behind the speaker during a presentation to crash in the space just next to the podium where he stood, causing everyone to jump!
I experienced a true extension of my physical self, into worlds limited only by the imagination. It was definitely a trip down a rabbit hole and an enjoyable one at that.
How might you take a glimpse into the future this week?
“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan