Information technology (IT) helps people work more efficiently, and inturn help other people.
Fax displayed information but was pretty mundane. The telephone allowed for much faster exchange of info and was more interactive. Computers were the hallmark of IT – humans could write, edit, calculate, communicate, search and play with them. They became information companions to us, just like dogs are emotional friends. Mobile phones came and consolidated the telephone and the computer to an extent. It was a great way for people to talk and work in one portable interface instead of maintaining a clutter of IT gadgets. What was the common denominator of all these inventions? They sought to bridge the distance between person A and person B, because travel is so inconvenient for the purpose of gathering information or communicating. Imagine going to the library every time you have a new science project.
So, these gadgets were able to bring people together with screens. Why screens? because human and material capital were advanced to that extent in those eras. But now the tide has changed. There’s a new, more powerful distance-bridger.
It doesn’t have a restrictive 4 wall screen. Rather it teleports the person into the information and environment being sought. It’s the closest thing to being there in person.
The experience of being in the here and now is sought after in most occasions – meeting, shopping, learning, traveling, etc. – because it appeals to 4 out of the 5 senses – sight, smell, hear, and touch – much more powerfully than a screen stimulus. It also results in a more memorable and retentive experience (that’s why in-person meetings are more memorable than skype sessions, all else being equal). It’s kind of a fundamental desire of the human mind and heart and our team calls it immersion. So, interestingly, you actually can teleport to the library every time you have a new science project and interact with the contents of the book.
The fundamental nature of immersion should be consolidated with interactivity and an ability to talk via voice to the other side, in order for this new wave to become a part of our lives. Immersion should not be mutually exclusive – it should be an iteration of the computer/mobile phone.
What are the results of immersion? More powerful work, more satisfying and engaging work, better life.