XR can be viewed as a manifestation of “The New Aesthetic,” the term coined by James Bridle that references “the increasing appearance of the visual language of digital technology and the Internet in the physical world, and the blending of virtual and physical.” Closely related to Gilles Deleuze’s concept of virtuality, XR positions “virtual” as not opposed to “real.” Within the framework of XR, virtuality is not the opposite of reality and digital is not the opposite of biological. Rather, XR envisions a more complex relationship in which virtuality actualizes real effects to the extent that our perception of virtual objects becomes fully real.
2018 marks the beginning of the end of traditional smartphones. During the next decade, we will start to transition to the next era of computing and connected devices, which we will wear and will command using our voices, gesture and touch. The transition from smartphones to smart wearables and invisible interfaces — earbuds that have biometric sensors and speakers; rings and bracelets that sense motion; smart glasses that record and display information — will forever change how we experience the physical world. This doesn’t necessarily signal a post-screen existence. We anticipate foldable and scrollable screens for portable, longer-form reading and writing.