This speaker was Philip Rosedale, who is prominently known as the creator of über-popular online virtual world Second Life (SL). During his speech he talks about how he came to create SL, how SL impacted his conception of reality, and the projects he’s working on now that’ll bring the entire offline world into the online world.
SL was just the beginning. With his new company High Fidelity Inc., he and his team are creating much more immersive virtual worlds that pays greater attention to both facial features and body movements. It’s the start of a grand revolution in not just business, but in reality in its entirety! During his speech he predicts that, in the coming years, virtual worlds won’t just be the chosen setting for gamers, but will be used by everyone – from businessmen to teachers, families to newly weds. People will actually want to go on vacation in these worlds, rather than spend lots of money to physically travel elsewhere.
Rosedale isn’t wrong. We’re nearing ever closer towards the next paradigm shift – the blurring of offline and online; augmented reality! Facebook’s acquisition of the popular virtual reality goggles Oculus Rift isn’t simply a random business act, but is preparation for the world that is coming soon. Eventually our physical bodies and virtual bodies will be conjoined, traversing the same material space. From then on, we won’t be referring to them as “physical reality” or “virtual reality,” but simply reality. In fact, we’re doing this now with aided mediums such as our smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Our greatest ventures won’t be in outer space, but in cyberspace!
“High Fidelity powers inter-connected virtual worlds, using new hardware devices to catalyze entirely new kinds of interactions between avatars.”