The Laws of Mixed Reality — without the rose-colored glasses

John Rousseau in KurzweilAI:

Matrix-RevolutionsThe future of human consciousness will be a hybrid affair. We will live and work in a ubiquitous computing environment, where physical reality and a pervasive digital layer mix seamlessly according to the logic of software and the richness of highly contextual data. This is mixed reality (MR) — and it will soon simply be reality: projected onto our mind’s eye, always on, always connected, and deeply personalized. It will be delivered first through a head-mounted display, and ultimately embedded in our perception via subtler inputs. The resulting human network will be a massive, dynamic system capable of generating enormous value for humankind, as we embrace our cyborg future and the superpowers it enables. We’re not there yet, though this vision is far from science fiction. Today’s MR/VR products are somewhat clunky in terms of hardware, awkward in terms of user experience, and constrained by practical performance issues and limited content. However, these are temporary limitations that will be solved in time — and probably more quickly than we expect. Future hardware will be capable of rendering high-resolution digital content that blends seamlessly with our environment, and devices will be small enough to wear all the time. The complex UX challenges will be resolved, and new interaction models will emerge along with a new computing paradigm. And eventually, the infrastructure, bandwidth, content, and connectivity will be in place to support a fully integrated experience.

…There is a clear risk that the types of behaviors we notice now — being “in your phone” rather than in the world — will be exacerbated by mixed reality. Future digital experiences need to counter this tendency and improve our ability to be present for ourselves and others, and help users balance complex streams of information, notifications, and stimuli within a holistic experience. There is an opportunity to counter the addictive aspects of technology (FOMO — fear of missing out) that impair our ability to focus, lead to increasingly short attention spans, and lessen human productivity and potential.

More here.