In the mixed reality age you spend the night in a deep sea diving station
In the age of mixed reality, reality is becoming as malleable as pixels on a monitor. A new developer demo shows that.
In 2016, Meta’s futurologist Michael Abrash took the stage at the Oculus Connect conference and raved about the future of mixed reality. Even then, he predicted that the technology would hit the market this year and next with devices like Lynx R-1 and Cambria: VR headsets with integrated augmented reality technology.
“Augmented VR will be different than the mixed reality we see through AR headsets. We will have control over every pixel. Reality will be completely modifiable,” Abrash said at the time.
Quest 2 gives a taste of the mixed reality future
With its experimental AR mode, Quest 2 already offers a taste of the mixed reality future, in which we can switch almost continuously between purely virtual worlds and a digitally augmented reality that integrates the real world.
XR developer Thomas van Bouwel demonstrates this impressively with an experimental app based on the AR mode of the Quest 2: First, he takes measurements of his real room along with the furniture in it, such as the bed, a nightstand, or a desk.
Then, at the touch of a button, Bouwel turns the walls of his bedroom into huge windows with an underwater view – just as if he were sleeping in an underwater suite. It’s just a pity that you can’t sleep so well with a VR headset on your head.
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– Thomas Van Bouwel (@tovanbo) May 21, 2022
Colorful mixed reality – coming soon to a headset near you
Bouwel’s idea is not new; many other developers had it before him. Recently, for example, artist and game designer Graham Rust showed how he completely transformed his apartment into an interactive Half-Life: Alyx environment.
With upcoming VR-AR headsets from Meta, Apple, Lynx and possibly other manufacturers, such full virtual reality transformations could become more commonplace as the technology matures further – high-resolution, colorful, with built-in sensing technology. Then Abrash’s vision of an audiovisual fully modifiable reality could gradually become a reality.