Will Virtual Reality Make Privacy Obsolete?
Similar technology could be utilized to augment reality. Think of Google Glass and walking down the street considering informational pop-ups above every building you pass, or following a three-dimensional, turn-by-turn set of directions.
While the ultimate trajectory of these developments cannot be comprehensively predicted, we know one thing for sure. Our current sense of privacy will not survive this new digital revolution. As circumstances stand today, libertarians squawk indignation at unmanned aerial drones flying overhead taking video or still photographs. It turns out that’s child’s play. Tomorrow, through a process likely no more tangible or evasive, your property and even your person will be instantly digitized for virtual reconstruction toward any purpose imaginable. Utilizing blueprints which may be available from public records, or descriptions provided by others, the interior of your home or business could be recreated using future iterations of the same scenery auto-generation which enables me to fly over my house today in X-Plane 10. The accuracy of the experience would depend upon the data input, but could conceivably reach levels indistinguishable from reality.
Commercial applications like virtual real estate tours thrill the imagination. However, think also about the tactical implications for military, police, and even criminal operations. Raids could be planned out and rehearsed in heretofore unparalleled detail, accounting for likely escape routes on any scale from a particular room to an international manhunt.
We cannot fully anticipate all the implications of such a game-changing convergence of technology. We can, however, apply timeless principles and begin to anticipate how our culture and government might reasonably respond.