When you ask “what is real?”, I am going to reply with I don’t really know. Everything we see, touch, smell and hear is just some electrical impulses in our heads that we interpret how we want to perceive it. Right know I would say that what is real to me is anything I can see or touch or know I can touch. The line between real and generated environments is moving as simulations become more advanced and life-like ….. more real. In the coming future I believe that my view might change to thinking a simulation is real too. It depends how we want to perceive it.
A look into the future is what the glass is. It is an amazing piece of technology. It is small yet has many features that make some tasks much easier. Such as navigation. Being able to display an overlay of where your meant to go with out have to look at a GPS or have your phone out would be a huge benefit for some people. Another advantage is in the medical industry and knowledge sharing. The example of this was a surgery was preformed on a patient while being streamed to 150 other experts around the world. The knowledge of the one doctor was shared easily without people flying in and watching the operation or setting up expensive cameras, by using the Google Glass.
The good has the bad too. Having the overlay over your vision is also a safety issue. The overlay partially blocks your vision and is also a distraction. Cellphone while driving is banded for a reason because its a distraction. Google Glass brings this back but in another form.
The one thing that scares me the most about the Google Glass is corporate advertising. This comes from a book I have read called Feed by M.T Anderson. In the book everyone had implants in there head that effectively did the same thing as Google Glass but created electrical impulses to overlay the information. There lives were ruled by corporate advertising constantly being pushed into there heads. Same goes with Google Glass advertising can be just as easily shown to the user with out them knowing it but will have an impact on there thinking. Also with the Glass being made by one of the biggest advertising corporations in the world I see this to be a huge threat. Something to keep in mind before trying out the next big thing.
The difference between the Google Glass and the HoloLens is the practical applications for at home and in the workplace. I think as Microsoft has advertised it shows that it is a more specialized device as it stands now. This is because it is to big and bulky at the moment to be used as a day to day device, but as a device for work it is much more suited. The Google Glass has been designed as a social device while at the moment the HoloLens isn’t, although in there soon I think it will merge into both.
The Rift will always be predominantly a gaming based device it does and will have some applications outside this. I believe that the Rift is the first device to really push the boundaries of what is real. While wearing the device most users forget there surrounds and get so caught up in the simulation it becomes there real. The Oculus Rift will have some use in the science world for uses where viewing and interacting with information in a 3D model is more practical. For example this video demonstrates this.
The two links above show the use of the Oculus Rift with proprietary devices that I believe is pushing the boundaries of what is real. It uses gyro inputs to determine your body movements and inputs them into the simulation which is then replicated on the Oculus Rift making it almost seem real. A senor suit like the ones these users are wearing changing how interaction with the real and simulated world is becoming blurred with the development of new technologies.