Hello and Welcome
As this generation of wizards leap forward with new technologies, it seems that every week brings some mind-bending new invention alongside. At the forefront of this movement is the visual unveiling of a world coming into being before our eyes. We are talking about Mediated Reality.
As of right now, there are three major subheadings of Mediated Reality: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality. Each of these holds a different place in the public eye, as well as a different set of possibilities for the future. However, these definitions are brittle, like ice atop the water. One firm wave and they shatter and dissolve.
If reading this makes you think, wow, these guys aren’t experts, then we would say good, because no one is. These are emerging technologies. The first Senate sub-committee hearing on augmented reality occurred in mid-November. Everyone is in a position to influence the future of this enterprise, and we should be excited about this.
Acknowledging that they are going to change, let’s define these terms as they stand today.
In Virtual Reality, a visor comes down over your eyes and your reality is exchanged for the one inside your headset. You might find yourself in the immersive experience of flying a space ship through deep space, or soaring through canyons on squirrel suit wings before parachuting down to the target. In non-wearable devices, VR would be something like a videogame or film, another world you can experience without seeing your own.
Unless they remember Google Glass, most people were first introduced to the term AR when Pokemon Go was released in the summer of 2016. However, the nature of a nascent industry resides in its capacity for change and redefinition. Now, the term Augmented Reality is limited to products like Google Glass, where what you see in front of you is the “real” world, but there is extra information, such as directions, restaurant ratings, etc.
The Pokemon Go experience is now most commonly referred to as Mixed reality. MR differs from AR in that the augmentations in AR are distinguishable from reality (i.e. no one confuses a Facebook notification with something physical). MR, on the other hand, appears to be physical. Objects displayed in MR seem to affect and be affected by their environments, taking up space in the same way physical objects do. They correspond to a determined set of 3D coordinates, which exist virtually, but coincide with the physical layout of our reality.
This blog intends be active once a week, and we will be using the platform to discuss the future of Mediated Reality. We will be reporting on products and apps, examining technologies as they stand, making predictions about where new tech might lead us, exploring the complexities of virtual ethics and investigating the legal and business implications of the growth of this new industry. As people existing at the forefront of a new era, we have an opportunity (and a responsibility) to come to an understanding of this world we wish to explore. With that in mind, it is time to kick off this new blog for real. Join us next time as we begin to discuss the component pieces of Mediated Reality, starting with Artificial Intelligence.
Thank you for reading,
The Mediated Reality Law Team