I am writing about the presentation at Weird Reality that had the greatest impact on me: Meta. Meta is a company that works in augmented reality, and they strive to create an interface that is natural and gestureless. For example, one could select something by picking it up rather than by pointing your face at it and awkwardly pinching the air (like you have to do with some other AR systems). What really blew my mind was how fast VR/AR technology is advancing in ways I didn’t know about. For example, Meta currently has a working (if somewhat rough and not totally safe) way to let users feel virtual items just by touching them with their naked hand. And they (“they” not necessarily meaning Meta, but rather the ambiguous VR/AR scientists that develop this stuff) have wearable technology that can read the brain waves of a person and determine from that alone what the person is looking at. Similarly, they (same ambiguous they) can transmit an image (or at least a few colors) directly to a person’s brain, and it will be as if that person is seeing it with his or her eyes. Like, what?! That’s crazy! And once it develops further, it could have huge applications in medicine and psychology, not just entertainment. The presenter said that by 2030, he thinks we will have transcended AR goggles to the point that most people just wear devices that put the AR into their brains. That would be a huge advancement from the AR goggles they have now, which are clunky and a bit awkward. All in all, Weird Reality was a great experience, but Meta’s presentation in particular really reminded me just how FREAKING AWESOME this technology could be.
Check out a video of theirs (and this is from three years ago):