We're already glimpsing the future when we look at mixed reality through a headset, but is the real evolution of this technology something that will exist as part of our bodies? As intense as that may sound, TechCrunch's Jay Donovan offers compelling reasons why it's not such a crazy idea:
At a talk given at the Augmented World Expo (AWE), Donovan suggests that augmented and mixed reality headsets are simply tools we're creating to accomplish more, much like the television and computer. They currently project holograms onto a visor that give the illusion of 3D renderings in the real world, but he expects bioimplants can take this technology even further.
Donovan believes it may be possible to have technology that can understand our imagination, allowing us to render our thoughts as holographic imagery we can see with the aid of a bioimplant. In his scenario, we'll not only be able to interact with our imagined objects, but share that imagination with others. We can bring our thoughts to fruition faster and give nearly concrete form to what we want to create only by thinking of it.
As a general idea this sounds wonderful. The benefits of thinking objects into existence are many, but this technology could have serious downsides, of course. The sci-fi web series H+ has already explored the potential consequences which, at worst, involve hacking into human brains and shutting them down for good—potentially on a massive scale.
While we can create safeguards and try to avoid these issues, connected devices that access our thoughts have the potential to be hacked, which is also pretty terrifying. It's one thing if a hacker gains access to personal data you put into a computer, but access to and control over your mind is a far more frightening prospect.
People are already experimenting with bioimplants on a small scale, so Donovan's vision of the future is plausible. While most of us probably fear the idea of connecting our bodies to the digital world due to the potential, imagined risks, some see more good than evil in these tools.
New technology and tools always come with pros and cons, but as we integrate them more into our lives, we can make our best efforts to introduce safeguards and protect ourselves from harm. Whether or not bioimplants are the future of augmented and mixed reality, we stand to benefit from the new tools we create so long as we make the effort to mitigate the problems they may cause.