If This Hyper-Reality Demo Is Where Augmented Tech Is Heading, We’re All Doomed


Some amazing things are happening in technology. We have augmented reality and virtual reality solutions finally getting off the ground, and gadgets like Google Glass and Microsoft's HoloLens have given us glimpses of what the future might be like. But alas, these early looks only paint a partial picture of where we're headed, and if we're not careful, something utterly frightening awaits us.

That frightening thing is portrayed in all too believable fashion in a 6-minute concept film by Kelichi Matsuda called Hyper-Reality. The film depicts a typical trip to the city in atypical fashion, at least for now. Shot in a first-person perspective, you see what could happen when a city becomes saturated with AR and VR media elements, when technology overwhelms the senses and clutters everyday experiences with nonsense.

"Our physical and virtual realities are becoming increasingly intertwined. Technologies such as VR, augmented reality, wearables, and the Internet of Things are pointing to a world where technology will envelop every aspect of our lives," Matsuda states. "It will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world. Hyper-Reality attempts to explore this exciting but dangerous trajectory."

The film was crowdfunded and shot on location in Medellín, Colombia, though it could easily be any bustling location. Imagine navigating the crowds in Tokyo or Manhattan all while having your senses bombarded with advertisements, shout outs to place of interest, directions, and everything else.

It's not unreasonable to think that this could happen. Spam and the proliferation of malware-laced ads on the web should serve as cautionary tales of how technology can be abused. Let's hope the players involved with today's emerging tech have the foresight to prevent the kind of hyper-reality Matsuda depicted.