Hyper-Reality: Idiocracy x Blade Runner x Times Square

This video.

There’s maybe no one more excited about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) than advertisers, who can’t wait to create immersive experiences and additional layers that you’ll interact with and that might maybe even make you want to buy stuff. All of that sounds great if it’s carefully curated – but most of us can imagine a world where the ratio of noise to signal is high and we’re bombarded by brand communications wherever we turn.

That’s what Keiichi Matsuda did here in HYPER-REALITY, seamlessly and terrifyingly merging physical and virtual reality into an overstimulating, media-centric universe, using a future iteration of Medellín, Colombia as its backdrop. There’s so much going on that it’s difficult to take in all the details in a single watching, but it’s full of eerily over-personalized ideas as well as good ones. Gamification! Ads on ads! Chatbots! Life coaches! All here, all at once.

It’s on us in the tech world to make sure this isn’t what happens with VR and AR, to provide ways to easily opt into and out of services, to ensure that users decide their own level of involvement that throttles information so that it’s only delivered at a rate that benefits rather than overwhelms. And hey, some people might opt into this level of stimulation, but for most of us, having this dystopia foisted upon us wouldn’t be our first choice.

Watch it here, be terrified, and augment responsibly:

HYPER-REALITY from Keiichi Matsuda on Vimeo.