Augmented reality: exciting invention or possible problem?
For those who do not delve too deeply into the technological world, AR is an acronym for augmented reality, a concept that has not only excited most scientists, but almost anyone who happens upon the subject. Augmented reality is an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device. In essence, it means we can alter the appearance of reality around us. You have probably seen or read about some form of AR, whether it be Tony Stark swiping at screens in “Iron Man” or the HoloDeck in the television show “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Augmented reality, or any alteration of reality, has always excited mankind since the idea’s inception, and now it may be within our grasp.
MAKING AUGMENTED REALITY A REALITY
The HoloLens is Microsoft’s newest and most promising creation that means to make AR a reality. The HoloLens is an augmented reality headset, a device one wears over the eyes. Using motion-sensing technology and a built-in camera to track the wearer’s surroundings, the headset projects computer generated objects onto the surrounding area. What is possible? The creators claim anything you can think of, including, but not limited to, a leopard lounging on your sofa or a 3-D diagram of our solar system in your dining room. You can even interact with these objects, reaching out and touching them or moving them with your hands. It is truly a thrilling and exciting step in technological advancement.
I will admit, the idea of sitting down with the HoloLens and playing Pokemon to my heart’s content and seeing my little pals before me in 3-D is extremely exciting, but I wonder how this will coincide with our modern lives. “Iron Man” portrays augmented reality as a tool to assist us with even greater advancements for mankind, but I think augmented reality also presents issues with our modern problem of technology addiction. Can you imagine thousands of people sitting solitarily in their rooms playing video games with the HoloLens to their heart’s content, while ignoring all other reality? I do not believe the introduction of the HoloLens will take us that far. Yet I do believe it is good to keep in mind that we need to regulate ourselves in a world where excess has become king.
ADDRESSING THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES
With the introduction of each new technology into our lives, it is our job as Christians to address both the positives and negatives of every new creation, especially as stewards of creation. Being made in God’s image, we too have an innate desire to create, yet we are a fallen creation and therefore our creations and our usage of said creations remain far from perfect and often warped. The HoloLens may be far off from being in everyone’s household, but the inclination of mankind corrupts what is good. We must remain vigilant about this problem. In the meantime, I look forward to projecting a napping Pikachu onto my bed.