We have been talking a lot lately about what it is that we are doing here. But these talk have mostly been focused on what we already know we want to develop. What about all the things that Timewalk could be, but we just don’t know yet? We are thinking about building a new kind of social platform, a new kind of on-line shop, a new kind of ad-delivery system, a new platform for games and all kinds of social activities. But what about the things we haven’t thought about yet?
There are people that, upon glancing at some of our ideas, asked all kinds of questions. Is it ethical to do this? Where can this go? What does it offer that makes it stand out? And I would like to answer some of these questions.
There has been a lot of talk in the last 10 years or so about what social media has done to people. How it made them interact without actually interacting. How it took communication from something that meant having a face to face conversation to what it is now – cell phones, social media, e-mail, etc. And while it might be true, what we are proposing is a step in the “right” direction. Yes, you will still be sitting in front of a computer – or running a Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality application on your mobile device, but you will be interacting with the other person as if they were actually there. You will be seeing them, hearing them, watching them smile and gesture. But let’s think even further ahead. Let’s look at what technology might be bringing us in the next 10-20 years.
If we look back, human civilization has always been built on technology. Over the course of human history, there have been several “golden ages” of discovery and innovation. But to me, there has never been one that comes close to what we have now. We have made more progress over the last 50 years than in all of human history combined. Every day we are coming up with new ideas and inventions that will help push mankind forward. Think about all the great things that have happened in medicine in the last 50 years. Astronomy, physics, chemistry, engineering. We have embedded technology in all aspects of modern life and we are still working on new devices and new technologies.
Getting back to Virtual Reality, think about the fact that, when first invented, about 30 years ago, the technology was so expensive and the performances so poor that it was dropped and forgotten until just a few years ago. Now we are seeing a new major innovation every few months. From the “simple” and now affordable VR headset to the Omni – a platform that captures the user’s movements and transmits them to the computer, to VR gloves and motion sensors that can track hand movement and gestures. What will come next?
How about gloves that can simulate touch? That offer feedback in the form of electric current which is interpreted by our brain as touching? We have already developed such equipment in the form of prosthetic arms that can make the user actually feel what he’s touching.
How about a VR kit as light and small as a pair of glasses? One that offers a much better resolution, wireless connection, is able to register hand movements…maybe even facial expressions… But why stop here?
I hear talks about a company developing some sort of computer chip that we can implant in our brains enhancing our capabilities – and no, I don’t mean superpowers, I mean better memory, easier learning, maybe even instant access to millions of books. What if we could, through the use of such a micro-chip (or similar technologies), smell, taste and touch things in VR? After all, the senses are “just electrical impulses interpreted by your brain” – as Morpheus said in the Matrix. What would Virtual Reality become then?
It would be, in my opinion, the gateway to the entire world. You could indeed visit Paris. But not just look at the buildings, but feel the warm wind, smell the air, taste the food. You could indeed shop. Feel the fabric of that t-shirt that you like, smell the perfumes in a perfume store and decide which one you like. Taste a little bit of chocolate before buying a one-year supply 🙂 Feel the temperature of the water in Hawaii and then book the flight. And so on. The list of possibilities is endless.
So I ask you now, do you think that what we are doing is right? Do you think that it’s worth while supporting us? Supporting our “little” project?
I think it is. We are pushing the boundaries of technology, creating something that will benefit humanity in the decades to come. We are creating the building blocks of future technologies, or at least laying a foundation for the applications of these technologies. We will be creating a market for these technologies, and we will keep developing applications that use these technologies. And then we will move to the next level…holograms! 🙂 Just kidding…maybe…
Senior Software Developer