ART and Harmony of Digital and Physical Life

I was watching America’s Got Talent with my kids and was mesmerized by two performances. Both of them used projection screen and multimedia to blend digital and physical life to create, what felt like, a completely new experience.

Here is the first one:

and here is the second one:

Back in 2007 I’ve written a post for ReadWriteWeb called Digital Life vs Life Digital. In that post I argued that physical and digital worlds are getting meshed in two ways – first I called Digital Life, and it is what we today call Virtual Reality. The second one I called Life Digital, and it is what we call today Augmented Reality.

Today we are a lot closer to both Virtual and Augmented reality. Oculus Rift has brought VR into the spotlight. We can fairly easily imagine a fully immersive virtual reality where we not only play games, but do business. This new virtual reality will truly become our Second Life.

While Augmented Reality is still evolving, we are edging closer to being able to recognize Empire State Building with Google Glass and draw in the air. We continue to cover the physical world with bits and make it smarter and more useful every day.

But watching these clips, watching this amazing art, made me realize something new tonight. I realized that marriage of digital and physical worlds will be completely effortless. Much like the kid scrolling the iPhone, much like the movement of these dancers, the real and digital physics will live in harmony.

I don’t know how we will get there, but it clicked in my head that while it might take years, the end result will be this dream-like new world.