Finding a valuable (and safe) place in virtual space

We’re starting to see how this future place will look. And when the “present of work” doldrums feel most acute, it’s possible that Virtual Space may also offer a seemingly seductive remedy – a way out.

During the crisis and beyond, many global companies will turn to AR/VR technologies to replace the need for human presence and design meaningful experiences in a socially-distant world.

It’s time to prepare for Virtual Space as a place of the future.

But what’s of value? What will be its currency? What will be gifted and bartered? Will it be “likes,” numbers of views, plus-ups? Will it be gold, euros, dollars? Maybe even … frisson? In a Maslovian world where needs are met, what would 2X more frisson in your life be worth? What about 3X? 10X? 100X? Now that experience – to some – would be more valuable than gold. But we need to retain our essential humanity, or else we risk becoming cyborgs that – to potentially nefarious algorithms that run Virtual Space – resemble nothing more than manipulatable voodoo dolls. With each passing day, the potential benefit of Virtual Space for the future of humanity’s relationship with technology becomes clearer. Successful strategies and outcomes (better, faster, cheaper, more accurate, more experiential) will be amplified, and value realized with immersive, spatial computing – launching us into Virtual Space. The countdown to liftoff has begun …

Try, train, transcend! During the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, many individuals, companies and schools will turn to Virtual Space to transcend the need for a physical presence and design meaningful experiences in a socially distant world. It won’t take hours; just try an HMD for a 15-minute flight into Virtual Space. (It won’t break the bank; Facebook’s new Oculus is now less than $300). You’re likely to become an advocate and will want to abandon your Zoom Room forever.

Don’t become “uncomfortably numb.” VR gives you the ability to simulate actions that would be dangerous in the real world or would have serious repercussions. But it can also “numb” users and prevent them from thinking critically about their whereabouts, work and well-being. Careful consideration to flow, pacing and (for businesses) organizational change management are of huge importance. Privacy’s essential. Virtual Space offers plenty of benefits to business and society, but it goes against all privacy protocols to track people’s individual data without consent. It will be essential to align with established norms, standards and (current or future) privacy laws.