One of the things that we don’t like about computers, is that most of the time it means that we have to sit at a desk and use rather clunky hardware to get things done. Lately there’s been moves against this, Laptops are much smaller, and the rise of the tablet computer is definitely making things a lot more comfortable (but not much good if you’re into hardcore 3D gaming or video editing).
What we need is to get rid of several things, namely the keyboard, mouse, monitor and speakers… which sounds insane, but these are the things that lock us down, and keep us tied to a desk.
I have, as many others have, dreamt of either having a screen built into glasses, or of having a holographic screen… but perhaps we’re making hard work for ourselves, what if we could make it so that we believed there was a screen in front of us, which worked just the way it’s intended to, but doesn’t actually… as far as anyone else is concerned, exist?
At night, we go to bed and dream, things seem real enough to us at the time, even if vague and confusing… if you’ve ever tried to phone someone in a dream, you’d know that there’s almost always something wrong with the phone, it never looks right, and you’re never sure why.
When we dream, we’re experiencing what we might call, a virtual world… which are things that we have today on our computers, whether it’s World of Warcraft, Secondlife, Blue Mars or something similar. but instead of being tied to a computer, in the dream we are free to walk, run, eat, fly or whatever we like.
My hope is that at some point in the future, that things will work like this.
You’re in Australia and have a meeting with friends from New York, Stokholm and Tokyo in an hour.
You have a nice relaxing shower and then hop into bed about thirty minutes beforehand, and you put a small, flat device, that looks something like a bandaid on your forehead… this may be connected to a computer somewhere in the home by wireless, or maybe not.
You go to sleep, and when you wake in the dream, instead of something random that your mind has conjured up, you see a lovely big park with huge trees. It’s a warm day, with a gentle sea breeze. there are people sitting in groups in the park, some look like businessmen and women, but others have gone for wildly different looks.
You look up to see a blue dragon fly overhead, relax… this is quite normal, he’s just off to visit friends on a small island that you can see on the horizon as you gaze over the bay.
Someone calls your name, you turn to look and it’s Michael from Tokyo, He’s sitting with a group of others… Dan from New York Waves, and you wave back and start walking towards them.
Out of nowhere Benny from Stokholm appears and greets you, and you walk to the others together.
Carmel from Queensland unexpectedly drops in, she’s had a few ideas and wants to see what everyone else thinks.
You take your places on your chairs and begin talking.
Carmel pulls out a large box of chocolate biscuits and offers them around… When you’re awake, you’re on a diet, but here you can have as much as you like and you’ll never get fat, but be aware that dream food is still not real food and you have to awaken to fill your very real body. It’s odd but most people these days, especially those who dream-work a lot, tend to be fairly thin… those who do it too much are sometimes painfully thin.
None of you have any devices, but when you wish to display a picture of an idea, a screen pops up in mid air, which feels physical and can be handed around, it saves a lot of time explaining when you can instantly snap a picture of your thoughts… of course you
could also just rez the idea, a sportscar perhaps? then and there… you’ve already built it in your mind, there’s no need to work for hours in CAD, it’s there, and if bits are not quite right, then the computer will check your data and fix something that might be wrong.
the model is as liquid as your thoughts, and can be changed and updated instantly.
As you all discuss your ideas, the computer takes everything down… video, voice, notes that you might write, so that you can remember them all later.
Later on, you wake up.
You want to make your shared dream more solid, so you set about compiling your thoughts and those of your friends.
Due to the technology at the time, you see a screen floating in front of you, much like the one in your dream, it’s not holographic, it doesn’t exist. To a person who talks to invisible people in the street, those people are real. your thoughts have been modified so that you see a screen with all the proper data you need… you do your e-mails and instant messaging on it, and then it vanishes when you no longer need it.
At the moment we can do a few of these things with Secondlife, People do meet there and exchange ideas for education, business or simply to have a sense of companionship with like-minded friends. but we’re at the frontier stage of virtual worlds and I feel they have a long way to go. If we can harness the power of the mind, especially in the dream world, and interface with it, we’ll really have something very special.