I had an interesting mental inversion the other day. My son took me to the go-kart races Sunday afternoon, just for fun. It was a beautiful day, and the races went on for hours. Not as much fun as motorcycles, but that’s personal preference.
Anyhow, we were watching the race, and something happened on the track that I wasn’t sure about. I actually mentally visualized backing up the DVR so I could watch it again; I sort of mentally reached for the remote. And realized, with disappointment, that wouldn’t work here, so I’ll never know what really happened on the track.
And I had an epiphany! DVR’s are better than reality – because we can manipulate it! The ability to pause, back up, and replay – something you just can’t do if you’re actually there!
I spent a bit of time thinking about this. It’s a coming thing, called ‘augmented reality’. And it’s cool. But it’s very much in its infancy. The implications still have to be worked out. Tools like handheld GPS systems that give you information about the weather, or restaurants near you, or traffic conditions nearby. The ability, as with the DVR, to rewind what you saw and take another look.
I guess this isn’t really a big deal, but it did cause me to do a double-take; the very idea of re-winding and taking another look would never have occurred to me before we got a DVR. And now, it’s part of my thinking.
Not especially significant, but it’s always good to look around and see how things change as you get older.