Listen Carefully

pexels-photo-561870.jpegI had the opportunity today to review what was said by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at the CES 2018 keynote speech. At the point in his presentation when Brian begins to talk about Sansar, I found this statement to be both interesting and actually quite revealing: “We worked with Linden Labs to create a visual and sound experience that completely bridges the real and virtual worlds.”

I often find myself reading words into what was not said. The implication is that real and virtual can be bridged by just visual and sound. What was not included in this was anything related to physics or kinetics. I just think that his use of the word “completely” goes too far. I also think that the point in the keynote presentation when they walked back stage was prerecorded. It is an old magician’s trick. The art of illusion. It simply could not have been done live.

The reality of what was presented by Brian Krzanich is that this is entirely a step forward in entertainment for audiences just like motion pictures has done for more than 129 years. It is unlikely to ever achieve what I am hoping for. And that is the accurate modeling of a simulated physical world that includes the interaction between the avatar and virtual representations of the built environment such as the buildings and public spaces we all inhabit.

To test my suspicions, I visited the Intel experience in Sansar that represented the Intel booth at CES. I met one Intel representative who was in VR and we chatted briefly before he had to leave because his shift was over. I asked him about the space on the upper level that was an enclosed room with a glass door. There was no way to open this door and enter the room. The sum total of the presentation was a brief audio statement in a female voice. Currently, we can do this with a website or an online video. Walking around a convention booth and interactive via voice is one step further down the path, but it is simply entertainment that lacks substance. It is smoke and mirrors.