Title: Emulsional Worlds as a Means to Explore and Understand the Impact of New Immersive Mediums (AR/VR/MxR)
Abstract: New mediums for communication and collaboration have, and will, disrupt all aspects of life. Technology has been breaking time and space for centuries, but the digital revolution sparked a sea change that we are now only beginning to comprehend. Consider that we’re in the midst of the third major new medium of the 21st Century – first the internet, then mobile, and now immersive (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality/Mixed Reality). Our wholesale adoption of digital has led to numerous unintended consequences, and the new immersive mediums will profoundly change not only our relationship with information, but with each other. The challenge is figuring out how to make the technology useful and meaningful to humans, because analog (human) and virtual (digital) don’t really mix. That said, oil and vinegar combined (in the right amounts) with agitation to create an emulsion that can result in a tasty salad dressing. And continuing the food metaphor, introducing a binding agent such as egg yolk transforms the separating salad dressing into mayonnaise – which is a stable emulsion. As we move forward into the 21st century, we should be looking for “egg yolk” – those things that help bind the digital to the analog, the virtual to the physical, so technology can help enhance the human experience rather than replace it.