The future looks bright. Or not. It also looks very individualistic, but not lonely. Like all new things, the amalgamation of Facebook, this powerful social media platform counting more than 1 billion people as members, and the new Oculus Rift 3D gaming tool (even the latin name imbues the product with an aura of respectability and awe) bringing the possibility of adding a virtual reality touch to basically all its social pages, is, at one time, breathtaking, humbling, inspiring and terrifying.
I’m sure you are already sensing Orwellian connotations everywhere. You are not alone, but let’s give it some time before we judge. Oculus may indeed sound a bit ominous, but the dual nature of things is ubiquitous (good and evil are in all things and people, but let’s not get too philosophical on a blog post)
Oculus is already great news for couch potatoes. Besides, this will surely push couchpotatoness to a whole new level, inspiring and attracting hordes of newcomers. As you will be able to do almost everything without leaving your living-room, shy of maybe having to deal with the call of nature now and then, your life will be restricted by the boundaries of your sofa. As for bodily functions, if you take your tablet to the toilet, the problem is solved. You will rule the world from the porcelain throne.
As cities like São Paulo get increasingly violent and uncomfortable – traffic jams, heat, overcrowded subway, etc – you may wish to put on your glasses (cross that out, Google may charge me for using this word), Oculus, for things like:
1. Shopping for groceries: being able not only to see what the fruit and vegetables look like that day, but also maybe feel them with your hands for texture and softness before sending them to the shopping cart for delivery by the 2:00 pm drone.
2. Visit museums and galleries: now you don’t need to line up before getting to the latest exhibition at MASP, simply take it from the comfort of your bathroom. Walk around, get as close as possible to the paintings, touch them, go around 3D volumes like sculptures, stare at their bottoms closely, if you are that kind of person.
3. Bored in the middle of the work day at the dreary office downtown? Click on the Facebook page of any beautiful Northearstern beach of Brazil, and go for a long virtual walk along the sea, let’s say, in Porto de Galinhas. At some point in the near future I’m sure you will even be able to feel the warm waves licking at your feet. Then click out of the page and start the video conference call with the sales team with renewed vigor and energy.
4. Shopping for clothes: no more cluttered and disheveled fitting rooms to gain access to. Try everything and anything on for hours on end without being disturbed, and then pick only a t-shirt on your way out, or nothing at all, without even being frowned at by the shop assistant, who has been waiting on you for the whole morning. She is probably only a bot, anyway, without any civil rights – for now! Chances are, however, you will be chased after by their re-marketing ads and notifications for the rest of your life.
For number 5, I was going to add you may even create and live with your own virtual family – and shut them down or click out of their page whenever you feel you deserve a night out (well, not really OUT, but on a different website) with the guys. But I don’t want to sound too iconoclastic at this point.
The possibilities are endless. The fun and the horrors incalculable. Let’s just wait.