Wonder: Night at the Newseum – Virtual reality is real

Last week, I went to an event about mixed-, virtual-, and augmented-reality at DC’s Newseum. My dear friend, F.J., told me about it and being the technology fiends that we are, we went over there together with our friend, Anisha. We tried on some new gear to get a sense of what’s happening in this new and rapidly emerging field. I drove down the streets of Cuba, Anisha took a flight with the Blue Angels, and F.J. explored a shipwreck. The degrees of quality varied, but the fun of seeing the future was equally palpable in all of it. We then sat together to hear a talented panel of journalists and media makers talk about how these technologies are altering the very real world of human experience in a broad sense, and the field of journalism and storytelling more specifically.

An intense amount of capital is pouring into MR, AR, and VR. Competitors in hardware and software are firing on all cylinders. Storytellers are undergoing a massive mind shift and stretching their imaginations to the nth degree. The future of this technology isn’t even clear enough to be called hazy. We are all, admittedly, fumbling in the dark trying figure out how, if, when, where, and why to take this new avenue.
I’m thinking about how to use it for Project Rubeus. Prestigious outlets such as The New York Times and the Washington Post are experimenting with mobile, immersive stories. The fields of healthcare, education, media, nonprofit, and travel are bending this new channel to their will to literally take students, customers, and consumers to places they never even imagined they could go.
I am intensely excited about this possibility and opportunity, as a business woman, technology lover, and writer with a passion for learning, teaching, and sharing. At the Newseum that night, a portal to a new, strange, and wild world opened and I happily walked through, virtually and literally.