Why Microsoft HoloLens Will Destroy Humanity, If We Let It

I'm not quite sure you realise what you have done, Microsoft. If you give me the power to fill my world with magical 3D objects, that's exactly what I'm going to do. And I am going to abuse that power.

So you're telling me that within a realistically short timeframe - and definitely before my expected death date of 3 February 2062 - I'll have the ability to call into existence the appearance of anything I like?

At any time?

That I can magic up a TV screen and expand it on demand? That I can carve objects in mid-air and drive a rover across the surface of Mars, from my living room?

And I all I have to do is reconcile myself to wearing a pair of these?

I'm not quite sure you realise what you have done, Microsoft.

Because I'm thinking bigger than designing motorbikes and putting a big virtual Netflix button on my fridge.

If you give me the power to fill my world with magical 3D objects, that's exactly what I'm going to do. And I am going to abuse that power.

I will start slow, watching a bit of TV on a make-believe 45-, then 55-, then 85-inch television screen (which I shall expand and contract continually with pinches and pulls of my finger). I'll play a few rounds of Star Wars(™) HoloChess, make one of these cool rocket models and play a little sofa Minecraft.

But then I'm going to call into existence a giant polar bear, have him dynamically (appear to) burst out of my floorboards and perform a solo rendition of Welcome to the Jungle by Guns 'N' Roses.

And that's when things are really going to get interesting.

Walking outside of my flat, with the flush confidence of a man-turned-god I will order HoloLens to dynamically remove all evidence of other living humans from my display, on the fly.

The cars shall vanish, the people on the pavement will disappear. Then I will create a vast, city-sized cinema screen in the sky and have it play Blade Runner on repeat. I will erupt forests of redwoods from the roads to create a new canopy of nature above London's blasted surface. And with a swirl of my wrist I will send endless asteroids descending from the heavens down to Earth, and bat them back myself, in turn, with a tennis racquet made of fire - which HoloLens will also be projecting in real time.

The dinosaur parade shall come next, naturally.

I'm thinking 20-30 brachiosaurs, painted in bright blues, greens and yellows, marching in time, bouncing their heads to the party metal disco that is my new demented vision of reality. HoloLens will perhaps start to protest at this point. 'I'm an educational and productivity tool,' it will say. 'This is not in my warranty.'

I shall tell HoloLens to project a new, better warranty into my hands. It will obey.

When it comes time to return home, I will grow tired of my legs. HoloLens will replace them for what will appear to be a system of complicated tentacles. It will start to grow dark but I will tell HoloLens to keep the sun in the sky, and it will accede, because it is always daytime in the world of advanced augmented reality.

With one swipe of my arms I will level cities to the ground. I will raise mountains and dark canyons of technological wonder in their place. I will boil the River Thames and extend the Tower of London endlessly into the sky, and open and close Tower Bridge with nods of my head.

I will split the Earth in two!

It's around this point that I suspect the battery power on HoloLens will start to hit critical.

But that's okay. Because I am home now - or close enough to tell HoloLens to create a new virtual corridor through which I can slouch until I make it back to my actual, physical address.

Then I will take it off, and sleep. Until the second day arrives, and I will begin again.

Twenty years later, the world will be a very different place in my brain.

Reality will have lost all meaning and I will live in a state of perpetual creation and destruction. HoloLens will now surround me with pure light, swirling colours and pounding journeys through space and time.

My hologrammatic existence will be immaterial, boundless - like a Flaming Lips music video collection projected through a prism of Perspex and Skittles.

Then, one day, HoloLens will sputter to a halt.

Horrified, half-blind and blinking I will remove the headset to see all around me the ruins of civilisation: the burned-out power stations, long abandoned by their HoloLens-addicted safety technicians. The roads filled with wrecked cars and HoloLens-addicted cannibal gangs. The rubble of an age lost to a tech that was, truly, better than life.

HoloLens, a concept just too good for this world, will destroy us. It will give us the power of gods, it will deceive us and erode us. It will consume our waking lives and undermine the very basis of existence.

And I can't wait to get started.

Sign me up, Microsoft. Sign me up.


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