What humans think is really real has reshaped in the 20th century. Quantum physics, Schrödinger’s cat paradox, and string theories which require additional dimensions have shown that next to long-standing doubts in philosophy, science has joined the discourse of our incapability to understand what the overall meaning of reality is.
Moreover, we are at a point where recent technology uses a virtual, viz. augmented reality in actual practice, so we now have to find out if we can understand what this actually means. Whether we take a real-time walk through a virtual room with a headset on or are exposed to 3-dimensional virtual staging with modeled objects in a real room, entering such spaces creates a feeling of reality. How intense this experience of reality occurs there depends on the hyperrealistic appearance of the surrounding.
In movies, we have already seen artificial fire and waves before. Such rendered 3D creations, modeled and animated with programs like Maya on a computer, become better and better and eventually make it difficult to tell the difference between unreal and real things. Databases for these 3D models keep growing fast and are developing their content further and further. Connected to this, the same is also happening in coding and programming. Its data pool is growing and improving rapidly.
However, critics continue to argue about virtual reality’s influence on reality’s own obscurity. Can we talk of a mixed reality when the real environment is tracked by lasers from the corners of a room and one wears a headset, when one watches a virtual reality movie in 4D that was shot in 360°, or when one interactively plays Pokémon Go with a smartphone in the real grid of our infrastructure?
In the near future, new equipment and developments will interfere with today’s devices and subsequently replace them. The way we perceive images, receive information, and how we conceive reality and meta-levels of virtuality will be different. In times of mass media and hyper-connections, it is understandable that feelings of uncertainty and apprehension concerning abuse, misuse, and loss of control are predominant. Intelligent state-of-the-art software will alter our lives technologically and, therefore, socially. However this might look like soon, ethics will have to take on an important new role for society.