Reflecting on mirrorworld
"Someday soon, every place and thing in the real world—every street, lamppost, building, and room—will have its full-size digital twin in the mirrorworld. For now, only tiny patches of the mirrorworld are visible through AR headsets. Piece by piece, these virtual fragments are being stitched together to form a shared, persistent place that will parallel the real world.
"The mirrorworld… will reflect not just what something looks like but its context, meaning, and function. We will interact with it, manipulate it, and experience it like we do the real world.”
Essentially, ‘mirrorworld’ is a digital version of the real world we’ll access through augmented and mixed reality. Just think about how Pokémon Go turns your local park into a gym for monsters, and then multiply that by a million as devices and software become more advanced. Kelly sees it as something that will take decades to mature.
For me, the term 'mirrorworld’ reminds me of the analogies of 'surfing the web’ and 'the information superhighway’ that accompanied the earlier days of the web. If you said to someone said that you they were going to 'jump on the information superhighway’ today you’d think they were a dinosaur.
So the idea that we’ll be calling this digital parallel world a 'mirrorworld’ in 2040 seems unlikely. And there will be no one 'mirrorworld,’ but multiple parallel worlds – we will likely each experience this new space in different ways.
Kelly’s piece doesn’t address one aspect of 'mirrorworld’ that will be important in its early days: lawsuits. Just last week, Pokémon Go creator Niantic settled a lawsuit
filed by home owners angry that their private property had been digitally trespassed by objects in the game’s world.
What rights will you have over how your land is used in digital space?
Still, it’s good to see people getting excited about technology’s possibilities again, rather than always talking about how tech is powering a creeping dystopia.