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As our world becomes increasingly interconnected and technology continues to evolve at a breakneck speed, new paradigms emerge that shape our understanding of reality and existence. One such concept that has gained prominence in recent years is “virtheral,” a fusion of the physical and virtual realities, where boundaries blur, and our perception of the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’ is challenged.

The concept of virtheral draws upon the premise of hyperconnectivity, as presented by Vivek Ranadivé in Forbes (“Hyperconnectivity: The Future Is Now”)1. As we move towards a world where everything is connected, the distinction between the physical and virtual realities becomes increasingly obsolete. This trend has found its way into various aspects of our lives, from work and education to entertainment and social interactions.

One of the most visible manifestations of the virtheral concept is the metaverse. A report by Razorfish & Vice Media (“The Metaverse – What gaming today teaches us about the metaverse tomorrow”)2 explores the evolution of gaming and how it hints at what our future metaverse could look like. From virtual avatars in games like Pokémon GO3 to immersive experiences in VR platforms, the metaverse illustrates a perfect blend of the virtual and the physical, making our experiences truly virtheral.

Another interesting example of virtheral is the creation of digital twins in healthcare, as mentioned in an article by Ugeskriftet (“Sig goddag til patientens digitale tvilling”)4. The development of these virtual counterparts can provide valuable insights into an individual’s health, heralding a new era of personalized medicine.

Furthermore, the virtheral concept is shaping the future of manufacturing, as detailed in a report by PwC (“Digital Factories 2020”)5. With the use of IoT and digital twins, factories are bridging the gap between the physical and virtual, optimizing processes, and facilitating predictive maintenance.

As we embrace the virtheral, it’s essential to understand its implications on privacy and data ownership. As we traverse this novel terrain, we must rethink our approach to privacy, as pointed out by Gal Ringel in Forbes (“Rethinking Privacy: The Road To Data Ownership”)6.

In conclusion, the virtheral concept offers an exciting perspective on the future of human experiences. As we continue to explore this fusion of physical and virtual realities, we will undoubtedly uncover new opportunities and challenges along the way.


Footnotes

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/vivekranadive/2013/02/19/hyperconnectivity-thefuture-is-now/?sh=2798bf4830ad
  2. https://assets.rzrfs.com/pdf/2022/VICE_x_Razorfish_Gen_Z_Metaverse_Report.pdf
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/882474/pokemon-go-all-time-player-spendingcountries/
  4. https://ugeskriftet.dk/nyhed/sig-goddag-til-patientens-digitale-tvilling
  5. https://www.pwc.de/de/digitale-transformation/digital-factories-2020-shaping-the-futureof-manufacturing.pdf
  6. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/08/02/rethinkingprivacy-the-road-to-data-ownership/?sh=2d2c63f0581e