The first task of this class was to come up with ideas for interfaces of the future. We initially did not want to think of the practicality of the idea but just wanted to focus on the experience and then lean it down from there. Here are you few hit upon:
Time manipulation Time is something that is beyond our control in reality. Imagine a world where everyone is in a virtual environment. This potentially gives the power to manipulate the perception of time with respect to different users. This can give an illusion of time being in your control. If this idea is implemented, the phrase "buying time" would have a whole new meaning.
Taking this idea further, one could relive the past or project themselves in the future to give a sense of traveling through time and experiencing a lot of things in a short span of time.
Vacation from you If we think about it, aren't movies a way for us to escape our daily lives and experience what the protagonist is experiencing for those 90 minutes? According to neuroscientist VS Ramachandran, when we watch someone do or feel something, the same areas of our brain get activated. This is why we feel the rush or pity while watching a movie. These are what he calls mirror neurons. While the same brain areas get triggered, inputs from other senses such as touch, smell, movement etc. tell us that this is not actually happening and helps maintain sanity, so to speak. What if we could reinforce this false belief to actually experience what someone else is experiencing through other sensory inputs. Wouldn't that be what is watching a movie should be about?
Idea of the self Currently, virtual reality or augmented reality relies mostly on visual input to create the belief that you are actually there. Though you see and move around in a new environment, you are constantly aware of the reality - I have to finish this work by weekend, file taxes, buy groceries on my way back etc. You are completely aware that you are you.
What if we could reinforce this belief system of virtual reality to an extent that the brain actually starts to believe that it is reality. It is an ideal space where the line between the virtual and reality gets thinner and thinner.
The common theme in the above ideas is reality. An interface that feels as though you are interacting with real tangible items is the ideal interface. If you take the case of a swiping gesture for example, it is a higher level abstraction of flipping or swiping the pages of a book to go to the next page. What if we could feel that book in the interface?
Virtual Workout I wanted to explore the realm of working out in the virtual environment. If virtual reality is going to be a major part of our lives, this is an issue that most definitely needs addressing. Of the top of my mind, rising heart rate could control things in the environment and give rewards. This idea needs a separate brainstorming in itself to paint a clearer picture.