New Ways Tech Is Mixing The Digital and Physical World

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A girl cycling wearing a VR head

Ever since the Internet revolution began, it seems like the digital world is expanding all the time. Now, we can see how the digital world is expanding into the physical one. While we normally think of the physical and digital as opposites, more and more they are becoming integrated and really informing one another. Here are some of the biggest ways new tech is mixing the physical and digital worlds. 

Move To Earn Games

A whole new genre of games has emerged that encourages us to stay active and healthy while also earning some extra cash. These games use blockchain technology, the same tech that is behind the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency revolution. Basically, they pay you to walk, run, or exercise. This is why they are called moved to earn games.

In one example, STEPN, you buy digitals sneakers, digitally lace up, and then go on a walk or run. You have to stay in the appropriate speed range as you move in order to earn the most tokens, level up, and eventually trade these tokens for US Dollars or other fiat currencies.

It is fascinating to walk around in digital sneakers, playing a game on the sidewalk, while walking among other pedestrians who have no idea you are leveling up your shoes and making cash at that very moment!

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is similar to the concept of the virtual world, with which we are a little more familiar. The difference is that virtual reality is completely animated or digital. In augmented reality, you will see the digital world laid on top or mixed cleverly with the physical. We can see this in more and more realms, including online gaming and, in the future, mapping.

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Another area where we will see augmented reality is yet to come into fruition. There are prototypes for glasses that will allow you to see the directions to your destination laid on the road itself. In other words, no more looking down on your screen and twisting your phone to try to figure out when to turn left or right. The road would quite literally be highlighted via this application of augmented reality.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things describes physical objects connected to the internet. Generally, they have sensors, process data, and allow for remote control via Wi-Fi or networks. More and more of our home appliances are being connected to the Internet of Things and this phenomenon is a great example of mixing the digital and physical world.

Four examples of how the Internet of Things is changing our world are in how we commute, city management, productivity in the workplace, and our environmental impact. Smart heating systems, quantifying consumption to reduce waste, and making commuting more efficient are some of the ways it can do this!

Metaverse

Many of us read the news when Zuckerberg announced the name change of Facebook to Meta. That may have been the first time you heard about the metaverse. In some ways, because it is barely in existence, no one really knows what the metaverse will look like or what it will offer, but we can be sure it is on the cutting-edge of blending the physical and digital worlds.

For example, designers behind the metaverse have been promising that when we have virtual meetings, it will no longer be on a screen. Rather we will enter a virtual reality room where each member of the meeting is represented by an avatar of their choice. Rather than a screen with five faces, you would be in a virtual room with six avatars, which could range from a spitting image of that person, to a giant snake monster. When we really start mixing work with the digital world, things can get really weird really fast.