I’ll be brief: The Immersive Revolution is a book for people who believe, or are curious about, how VR, AR, and MR will change the world. From marketing to training, and engineering to glasses, this book is for those who want a peek into the future, and how immersive technologies will change almost everything.
For me, history is a collection of stories. Tales passed down by family members who talk about what their parents and grandparents achieved in their time alive. Or national narratives constructed by millions of people, all with a collective identity and point of origin. Some are massive and expansive, with a fantastic quality that transcends generations. Others are small but powerful, of individuals who took a step beyond the normal and forever changed the course of humanity. After a couple of years, or decades, or centuries, we collect what we know in books, videos, or films, and we sit down and say, ‘this is our story, and this is how we describe ourselves.’
And what do we focus on? Pokemon Go and Ready Player One.
I get it. Both were massive and lucrative hits which used immersive technology in some way, and our community latched onto them as great examples of what the tech can do. But it’s misleading. Pokemon Go was a massive hit because it tapped at the heart of what made the franchise popular, not because of AR (which children switched off after a period). Meanwhile, Ready Player One was so suffused with pop culture, like a life raft that buoyed the entire film – not because it introduced VR. In fact, it explored how we should leave the virtual world, not embrace it.
Our industry deserves better. Why don’t we profile Where Thoughts Go, a meditative space where people can send out short confessions to each other like bubbles in the ocean? Or Synth Riders, a pulse-pounding dance game that builds on the mechanics laid by Beat Saber? Our industry is incredible, not because it rests on the successes of others, but because it stands on its own. I recognize the importance of using established IPs – we will touch on Medal of Honor soon – but like most, I see the astonishing original creations as well.
The stories we tell are important. They will define how we see a period in history, and we should celebrate the small and wonderful creations as well. The smallest of actions can ripple for years after, and we must track them all as much as we can.
Sometimes, historians or writers use the word ‘revolution’ as a turning-point in history – a point before the event, and afterwards. The aftereffects of a revolution last forever, impacting every part of human life. Technology is no exception. I firmly believe we are experiencing a new revolution that will shape every industry you can think of. We should celebrate it.
My motivation for this book comes in two parts. One, I have covered the industry since 2016 and have collected a bundle of opinions, views, and stories over that time. I’ve come across independent developers who are pushing the boundaries of storytelling. I’ve met art curators who see it as a new art form. I’ve seen companies use the technology as a gimmick, to activate the launch of a whiskey brand when it could have gone elsewhere. The book is a collection of my thoughts and insights on it all.
My other motivation stems from frustration. I’ve read the torrent of inaccurate articles about ‘when’ VR will go mainstream, or the misdirection that goes on in LinkedIn, and I had enough. The industry deserves better reporting, with an honest view of what is happening.
Alongside the hype, we must also consider the ethical and regulatory considerations of immersive reality. We are entering a new stage where we are investing and using VR and AR, without yet properly considering the impact it will have on people. How will social interactions change when people wear AR glasses? Can scientists use VR for experiments on patients, or should there be certain rules? While tech companies investigate how we can communicate with our minds, what regulations should we place on them?
All these questions are critical. We are experiencing a revolution of how everything is being shaped by immersive tech, and we must take our next steps carefully.
Are you ready for the Immersive Reality Revolution? Buy the book on Amazon today.
Editor, Virtual Perceptions