Last week we posted a blog written by MXTreality CEO Jeff Rayner exploring the question of whether we will someday live in a complete virtual world like the one depicted in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Ready Player One. When released, Ready Player One exposed the mainstream to the potential of virtual reality like no major Hollywood movie had done, unless we are to count Johnny Mnemonic; which few people would. Ready Player One brought audiences a thrilling view of how VR could expand over the next few decades to become fully integrated with our everyday lives and blur the lines of the reality that we live in.
At the 1:37 mark Ryan Reynold's character steps into a new reality
A new blockbuster movie trailer just dropped, however, that suggests a not far off future where those lines could be blurred even more. Starring Ryan Reynolds, the major motion picture titled Free Guy will bring the movie going public an exploration of how Augmented Reality could become ubiquitous in our society through the normalization of AR glasses. In the trailer, we see that the driving plot device of the movie involves Ryan Reynolds character wearing AR glasses for the first time and having his reality completely altered as a result.
While the coming ubiquity of AR glasses is accepted by most in the tech world, the everyday person likely does not consider this likelihood with the same consideration they might give to what features will be included on the next gen of smartphones. To the average person, AR is still a novelty, and without tie-ins like Pokemon, something they are unlikely to seek out.
Free Guy could change that. In fact, the trailer alone may start the wheels spinning in the heads of the masses on their curiosity of the practicality and adoption of AR glasses. The snafu of Google Glass is no longer fresh in the minds of most, and AR is seeping into the mainstream at lightning speed. There is growing awareness that Apple is secretly developing AR glasses and there is acknowledgement for those aware that where others have had missteps, Apple may have successes.
Rumors are flying about what Apple's AR Glasses could look like and provide
What is perhaps most interesting about what is seen in the Free Guy trailer is that the augmented reality that Ryan Reynolds' character is immersed in is fueled by the gamification of real life. His perspective becomes that of protagonist in a first person shooter, complete with bad guys, machine guns and explosions, health boosts, and most intriguingly; a narrative that appears to intersect with real life in a way that indeed blurs the line between augmented reality and actual reality.
Not everyone will opt for their lives becoming a first person shooter
While this concept was certainly explored in Ready Player One, Free Guy's AR twist leads to what could end up becoming more representative of how things may play out in the future. Some might think it's crazy to imagine that on our way to work we would be shooting zombies in the street; yet who wouldn't want to augment the more mundane parts of our lives with the excitement, challenge and sense of achievement that games can provide? While not everyone may choose a zombie shooter as their go-to, the possibilities are endless; perhaps simply by following a game enticing you to find a new coffee shop you receive points from that coffee shop and in turn you are able to use them for goals you are working towards. The ability to rack up points that can be traded as currency could drive things forward massively and the more it develops, the more massive the transformation to society will be.
From the trailer, Free Guy appears to be an entertaining well made comedy action flick, but will it achieve something beyond a fun time at the movies?
Envision a reality for yourself in which you are more driven, excited and inspired through augmented gamification of life. It's coming.