Blended Reality: Superstructing Reality, Superstructing Selves
We are creating a new kind of reality, one in which physical and digital environments, media, and interactions are woven together throughout our daily lives. In this world, the virtual and the physical are seamlessly integrated. Cyberspace is not a destination; rather, it is a layer tightly integrated into the world around us. Technology enables this transformation but, as is always the case, when we invent new technologies, they in turn re-invent us. In the realm of blended reality, the technologies and tools that we are creating change a fundamental part of our existence: the lenses through which we view and interact with the world. We are literally beginning to see and feel the world through a new set of eyes and ears—things that were previously invisible become visible, and we see the familiar in a new way. Almost ten years ago, we wrote about the sensory transformation we’re about to undergo as technologies move off the desktop and into the physical environment. We also pointed out that sensory transformations inevitably lead to major social and cultural transformations because they shape the nature of what we experience and how we make sense of our surroundings. Blended reality is the manifestation of these changes. It is a type of sensory transformation that will change people’s lives, their senses of selves and others, and their views of the world around them. In this report we analyze key directions of this metamorphosis.