Beyond gaming and obvious commercial aspects of VR, there is a much more profound potential that VR and AR technology – when fully leveraged – will help us for the good and transform the world and society. Human nature is a constant, but the direction of a society is very much dependent on experimentation with innovative technology. Blockchain, VR, AR, are such innovations. And Somnium Space, being a VR world built on the blockchain, is the ultimate experiment. A place for pioneers, first movers, people who think out of the box.
The word innovation is used often. Perhaps too often. I mean a toothbrush is a toothbrush. There must be a limit to how much you can innovate it. Right? Not according to the commercials, which is marketing of course. Roger that. But maybe the result is a form of skepticism or fatigue. Innovation and progress as depicted in the commercials isn’t progress at all. It’s a way to separate you from your money.
Perhaps some people think that way about VR technology. Like that toothbrush. Not much new under the sun. Seen that, done that.
It may appear as if I am setting up a straw man here. But whenever I tell co-workers and friends about my ventures into VR and Somnium Space, their mental states morphe from amusement to amazement, disbelieve and confusion. But not necessarily in that order. And not because they have never heard about VR. Or blockchain. The reason is that they still see VR as a gimmick. Without much innovation. They are bound to be shaken up when I tell them what is really going on. That under the surface a technological revolution is washing over us, more profound than the advent of Internet.
Innovation is a fundamental human quest for progress. They don’t all have to be massive breakthroughs. Some innovations are modest, changing just one little corner of our lives. But big or small, they all have in common that they all start with an idea and are key to moving society forward. This type of innovation – unlike the one that makes us believe we are so much better of than our parents because we have more advanced toothbrushes – is crucial. There can never be enough of it.
That said, not all innovation is equally beneficial. Is it an innovation to be able to capture people’s personal details, track their online movements and monetize their data? It’s an innovation that Big Tech has based entire business models on. Nothing is black and white and not everything about Big Tech is bad. But apathy or resignation that things can never change and that we are forever stuck with how things are done today is contrary to everything that drives us forward as a species.
And that things will change is beyond doubt.
Somnium Space is a brilliant example of how people understanding problems engage with people understanding leading technology. This is when true innovation occurs. In the case of Somnium Space, VR and blockchain technology have been utilized to create a platform that is so much more than a ‘VR game’. Some people keep calling it that for some reason. There is innovation on multiple levels, but the one that is most profound is that Somnium – due to its persistent, immersive qualities, open nature and segregation of platform and assets – is showing the way to the spatial successor to the Internet. The Metaverse. Nothing less. And this Metaverse will change us in ways we can not even begin to fathom.
Yes there are other worlds. They are important as well and utilize some of the same underlying technologies. But what makes Somnium Space unique, among other things, is that it is the only VR world where one actually wants to be. I like to walk around in my city without a clear purpose sometimes, just to take in the atmosphere. In Somnium Space I caught myself doing the same.
And that my readers – apart from all the creative possibilities, opportunities to socialize, do business and be entertained – may very well be the biggest innovation and achievement of all. Somnium being a place where you want to be.
See you in Somnium.