The design fiction explores how augmented reality could take over our lives, provoking plenty of questions in its six-minute run. WGSN’s Sarah Housley reports
Critical designer Keiichi Matsuda brings the near-future to life in his vivid new video, Hyper-Reality. An information overload of colour, advertising and hype, it sees two of our biggest user interfaces (our eyes and ears) overlaid with a barrage that seems overwhelming at first, but a few minutes in, starts to seem almost doable – and that’s when you realise just how convincing, and how imminent, this vision is.
Hyper-Reality follows its main character, Juliana, as she struggles with being a freelance micro-jobber, searches for new careers, rides the bus, walks down the street and shops for groceries, while repeatedly wondering whether she should ‘restart’ her identity and life by swiping the screen.
Shot in Medellín, Colombia, the crowdfunded short film brings together the texture of real-life experiences with the glossy, flashing facade of the Post-Internet aesthetic. It’s beautiful, creepy, compelling, and a must-watch; our favourite detail is the interactive pet fox that sits on Juliana’s trolley while she shops.
While the video has been described as ‘dystopian’ by some viewers, Matsuda sees it as more realistic than we might care to admit. “Our physical and virtual realities are becoming increasingly intertwined,” he says of the work. “Technologies such as VR, augmented reality, wearables, and the internet of things are pointing to a world where technology will envelop every aspect of our lives. It will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world. Hyper-Reality attempts to explore this exciting but dangerous trajectory.”
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DESIGN FUTURES: Explore new ideas around hyperconnectivity and the future of tech in The Vision S/S 18: Psychotropical.