In tomorrow’s digital world control shifts to you. Your digital boundaries will dynamically change the CGI green screen world on your devices’ screens. When you can choose who and where you really want to be, we will learn there are many kinds of greatness in all of us.
It will be new stage of history, an age when we control reality and start choosing everything.
The next morning, still in the future…
“Sit down and fasten your seat belt,” your brother says, his face appearing on your teleportal.
“I’m already sitting… on the train to the office. And was working,” you grin.
“Well hang on tight,” he says. “They’re pilot testing a new constructed reality, and it’s turned Washington upside down.”
“Hasn’t reached me yet.”
“I know. I’m here to pull you into it, so pay attention.”
He takes remote control of your teleportal, moves himself to a corner of the screen and focuses in the new constructed reality. Before you can stop him he gives it control over your shared space backgrounds.
“This isn’t business as usual,” he says. “You know the Washington money system that keeps politicians in power forever? Well, this morning it’s a disaster.”
Your screen display splits with four live images of politicians speaking. Two are addressing breakfast meetings, one is giving a news interview and another is a talking head on a morning TV cable news show.
There’s no sound but they all have company logos coming out of their mouths, and three have small red clown noses. Two are wearing clown hats and one is in a full clown suit. Next to each is their name, the amount of money they’ve received this year from their topic’s donors, and the amount of money received from those donors over their lifetime.
“Looks crazy enough for you and the worlds you live in,” you tease your brother.
“These are both Democrats and Republicans,” he says. “The constructed reality uses speech recognition and text analysis to figure out their topic, then it retrieves the amount of money they’ve received on that issue.
“At $25,000 their donors’ company logos come out of their mouths and float up like balloons. If over $5,000 came from an individual donor, that person’s face and name float out of their mouth. If the money came from a group an image comes out, like assault rifles for the NRA.
“At $50,000 it adds a small red clown nose, but they’re careful to keep it small so you can recognize the politician’s face.
“At $100,000 a clown hat is added. It’s bright yellow with a red rim and red ball on top. Can’t miss it.
“Next is the big one. At half a mil they add a full clown suit, but no ruffled collar so you can still recognize their face.”
“I like it,” you say. “The more money they take the more they look like a clown.”
“The clown stuff stays visible until they switch subjects,” your brother says. “Then it goes away. The ‘reality’ spends a few seconds identifying the next topic, pulling the financial data from their records, and alters their appearance while displaying the new amounts of money.”
“I’m shocked,” you say. “This is being done to both Democrats and Republicans. It isn’t about one party attacking the other. It’s the money.”
“That’s the big deal,” your brother says. “This constructed reality is named the ‘Money Party.’ Everyone’s reacting because they’re literally saying that every politician is in the Money Party. They never say their party affiliation.”
“Okay, I get it. Thanks,” you say.
“That isn’t all,” your brother replies. “The big ‘Aha!’ is politicians aren’t as dumb as we think. In fact, they’re smarter than all the rest of us put together.”
“The bloggers have started writing about governmental capture in this country. They’re calling the ‘Money Party’ a front for a ‘Power Party,’” he says. “They’re calling the politicians ‘sock puppets’ because they’re so good at beating up each other. They named the Republican/Democrat fights the ‘sock puppet show’ because everyone watches them fight — while the real game is totally ignored.”
“So this Money Party reality moved it out front,” you say. “Nice, but it looks like an app, not a reality. It’s cute, but I’ll stop paying attention in a few hours.”
“You can’t. When I changed your teleportal screens to the constructed reality, it changed your boundary settings. This reality’s overlays are added to Washington politicians from all video sources. Across all your screens, the way you’ll see politicians has been permanently changed.
“Whether you’re watching TV news, a streaming video or any other visual source, your teleportal boundaries will recognize Washington politicians. This new boundary process will show them with payment amounts, mouthed logos, and clown noses, hats and costumes. You’re going to see all Senators and Representatives like this from now on, as Money Party members.”
“Let me get this right,” you say. “Every Washington politician will be in this constructed reality on all screens? The way I see them will always change based on how much money they take on each issue?”
“Yeah, from now on you’ll see them in their real world, the money world. That tweak to your boundaries took me a whole second, but you can turn it off.”
“Wow, I like this new reality. Washington must be in an uproar.”
“The signups for the Money Party reality are huge. It hit a million its first hour and it’s skyrocketing. A Washington blogger started a campaign to get 10 million Americans to switch their reality so they always see politicians this way, but it’s taking off so fast he upped the goal to 50 million.”
You look at your screen with new interest. There’s some choices and information where menus usually appear.
“What’s this signup to get alerts, by issue and legislator?”
“You can follow your politician or your issues, and be notified every time they open their mouth on one of your hot button topics. You can see them live, or use this to see what they say and their money trail on every issue. Whether live or recorded they appear as clowns based on how much money they accept.
“Hmm. I’m into healthy food, energy that costs too much, global warming, education, and gender issues. Now I’ll see how much money is ‘invested’ in each politician in each issue, every time they open their mouth.”
“Yeah, but the potential power shift is next to those alerts,” your brother says. “There’s ways to post your reactions or outrage with just one click. These include a pledge to ‘Defeat the Money Party.’ If enough of a district’s voters publicly pledge to vote out a ‘Money Party politician,’ that strengthens other candidates who are running to turn over that seat. It gives them a base of potential votes and an issue to run on, plus lots of video of their opponent dressed as a clown. Voters who want change are already asking their friends to sign pledges.”
“So how well does this work technically?” you ask.
“It’s from one of the public interest organizations and they’re learning as they go. Volunteers follow every Representative and Senator to everything they do in public. They stream the video with any kind of device they can, including wearables like glasses and lapel cameras.
“During the pilot they’re getting feedback on how accurately the systems recognize each politician, identify the issue they’re talking about, and display the financial information correctly from the donors.
“When they know it’s right they’ll keep it live, at least through this November’s election.”
“Will that include the primaries, which are coming up?”
“Yeah. It’s timed perfectly. With primaries and then elections around the corner, this is freaking out the politicians.”
Who knew a digital reality could change the world?
A different direction for the world: You control the realities you live in
How many “constructed digital realities” would you like? What about realities that are more fun, dynamic, artistic, sexy, visionary, informative or simply “cooler” than the one “physical reality” we’ve always had?
“Teleportal processing” can replace backgrounds by blending in people, live places, stored digital content, buildings, data, ads or anything else you can digitally access, retrieve, create or assemble. This turns our screens’ backgrounds into a broadcast stage, with capabilities many creative imaginations can use to transform the ordinary into their own visions and versions of reality.
That imagination could be yours, and you could broadcast it from your fixed, mobile or remote devices. Or it could be any constructed realities that you try out on your screens, then choose to discard or keep, or switch to new ones when you want.
Rather than top-down guidance, these give us the freedom to represent reality in the ways we choose. Then switch between our favorites anytime we want something different.
Here’s examples that might be designed and developed:
• Art and music realities: Artists and musicians can add overlays to locations, adding sculpture gardens, static artworks, dynamically moving artworks, re-decorated buildings, interactive digital responses, musical themes, stingers, singers, songs and surrealism to numerous locations. If you’re creative, what’s your digital calling card? With the numbers of tech-savvy artists and musicians today, daily life could be transformed from ordinary to extraordinary.
• A living, natural restored reality: Environmentalists could use transformative tools to GPS a location, identify its natural plant and animal species, then overlay a fully restored scene over that current physical location — so it appears natural and healthy. These could periodically switch, clarifying the difference between nature and how we live.
• Graffiti and comic realities: Graffiti and comic book artists, and edgy musicians, can dynamically add overlays or substitutions, transforming the world with their divergent creativity. Instead of the same-old places, redecorate daily!
• Constructed events realities: With processing constructed events can be broadcasted. Did you know the President is visiting your daughter’s elementary school right now? Watch it live, here and now!
• Alerts realities: What kinds of alerts would people actually want to interrupt them, so they could see something live? Sound-triggers can broadcast devices’ cameras and microphones: Babies laughing (anonymously) would attract millions, as well as great advertisers. Guns firing could attract those attracted by crimes, domestic abuse, firearm accidents, political repressions and firefights in war zones around the world. Lots of reality there, no?
• Celebrities realities: Identity-based realities can jump to sightings of celebrities on face recognition “white lists.” Audiences could choose the actors, musicians, sports stars and others they want.
• Superhero / sports heroes / cartoon heroes realities: Use digital resources or extract “super heroes” and sports heroes from different types of movies, TV shows, recorded sports events, comics or other sources. What could be better than Homer Simpson sitting next to you at a meeting, or Spider Man hanging out on the conference room wall? Perhaps having your favorite wide receiver catch a pass behind the email you’re answering.
• Healthy / Overstuffed realities: Reshape the people in a place by digitally slimming them so they’re all height/weight proportionate. Alternatively, inflate or distort everyone so they’re comically parodied. Either way, isn’t making everyone equal the right thing to do?
• Militarized / Demilitarized realities: Use digital resources of uniformed military and police, and their vehicles. Blend them into locations to make them look like police states. Or alternatively, remove police from locations where they are normally positioned, or put flowers in their guns and on their police cars, to make it look demilitarized.
• Surveillance realities: Display “monitored” notifications on all screens using real government agency logos, with popup alerts at the electronic actions they record and track. (Oh no, this is reality!)
• Privacy realities: For those who want public digital privacy, they could put themselves on “privacy lists.” Face recognition would trigger face distortion so when they’re in public their appearance is covered up in camera views and “constructed digital realities.” Who is that masked man?
• Scientific realities: Expand your life with scientists’ imaginations. Sit inside the center of a star, shrink so small you see atoms and molecules move and bond, travel to see galactic rotations, ride the water flow during a dam collapse, eliminate a fundamental physical constant like gravity, or simply live in the worlds beyond your five senses.
• Dystopian / Utopian realities: A variety of ideals may be dynamically visualized and overlaid on everyday places to show what they would be like if each of those ideals came true — or failed. Like the gap between our hearts and some of our neighborhoods.
In the midst of an Expandiverse, new businesses can rise in order to create the visual and contextual elements of a myriad of digital realities. They will create “live” and dynamic backgrounds, which can be automated or selected manually. The user — yes, you, a real person — will simply decide who and where you want to be. A ready-made inventory of options can be presented, ready to enjoy. It’s as if you can have your own permanent green-screen world.
Sophisticated business systems are part of these constructed realities, because larger audiences are worth more. The most popular constructed realities can be well funded, widely distributed and socially shared — new competitors to the physical world’s monopoly over reality.
Wouldn’t you love it if, right now, your world was a truly creative place rather than being GPS-guided turn-by-turn through the lawyer-certified safe routes — one where the landmarks are pre-decided and pre-interpreted by marketers. Maybe that’s why today’s world keeps instructing you to follow the route by the fast-food sponsors’ restaurants.
In your future you could, indeed, decide your worlds will be far more interesting, artistic, musical, punk’d or snarky — worlds where you merge entertainment and life in whatever imbalances make you happy.
And tomorrow, when your worlds are what you decide, what kinds of realities will you want to create and live in then?
Digital becomes so powerful it lets you be who you really want to be
This is not just new ideas, it’s new technology. It’s not a startup pivoting between a product and a service. It’s tomorrow’s technology today.
Expandiverse Technology was developed to accelerate a new kind of digital future into today: When we’re fully digital, we will control reality.
The big questions may finally turn into real choices:
Who and what would you become, if you have a chance to achieve your dreams?
What would your life be if you could control your world?
What kind of world will we share when each of us has many more ways to choose…
• Our personal goals
• Our devices and screens
• Our boundaries
• Our protections and security
• Our identities
• Our realities
• Our worldwide entertainments
• Our use of the world’s best know-how and resources
…to become the powerful global people we could be, to achieve whatever we choose.
What you decide could become more important — and more powerful — than the limited life today’s society has chosen for you. Everyone will have the ability to choose and develop their best selves in the worlds they want.
Together, our answers will shape tomorrow’s world.
We’re close. A new future is in view. It’s time to consider building the tech to enter a new stage of history. The age when you control reality.
I think it will be a great world, because if we actually have a chance, I believe most of us will choose greatness.
We will learn there are many kinds of greatness — in every one of us.
Image credit: The first, third and fourth graphics are credited to Shutterstock. The second graphic is copyright Dan Abelow.
Dan Abelow is an American inventor, author, speaker and technology consultant. His latest patent-pending invention, the Expandiverse, is new technology to build an advanced Digital Earth now. His previous patents are licensed by over 500 corporations that include Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung Electronics and many other leaders. He holds degrees from Harvard and the Wharton School. Get connected with Dan at ImagineANewFuture.com/connect/