My ‘Theme Team’ research.

Okay! So its week 5, meaning that my  teams ‘Theme Team’ presentation is next Monday! I have decided here is the best place to post the evidence of my end of research for my part of the slide: Local Impact. But first, a quick side note:

Today’s class was interesting as we had to come in on a Friday due to the Easter Break. Today a few groups shared their slideshows, and then as a class we discussed the various moots and questions. The first moot point was ‘We need a big brother in a world that is growing up too fast for itself?’ My group concluded that yes, we do, and yes the world is growing up too quickly, hence the need for a ‘big brother’. We thought that in a world of constant evolutionary technology, cyber threats are on the increase and that in the event of a potential act of cyber terrorism, the ‘big brother’ system would be able to intervene in order to either obstruct or lessen the said damage/threat. It was rather intriguing to share viewpoints with the classroom; Joe disagreed to the idea of us being a global village, or that we need a big brother…this topic began to provoke quite a few thoughts in my mind and thus I found this lesson to be quite stimulating. The virtual reality and media innovation slideshows were also quite engaging; it is just interesting to hear about all of these technological topics to which I haven’t really touched upon before. These presentations allow me to open my mind up and tune into the finer details of technologies that I haven’t mulled over before.

Below is the evidence of my own thoughts and findings being transcribed into text. I will use my small ‘essay’ as a speaking point for the slide.

With the Theme Team presentations, I have been tasked with the section: Local Impact. This area involves finding out how technological realities may affect the lives of New Zealanders. Due to having a specific amount of time in which to share (3 or so minutes), I have decided to create a few niche subquestions to which will answer this topic to an extent. This is because the “local impact” could be applied to such a vast array of subjects within New Zealand. local Impact could refer to and include cultural, sexual, religious, communal/societal, mental/health, agricultural/urban and so many more issues and spaces within New Zealand as a people and nation.

The questions are as follows:

  • What are augmented and virtual realities?
  • How are technological realities (A & VR) being used within New Zealand’s public services (police, airlines, transport, health and care systems etc)?
  • What are the possible health effects that coincide with that of technological reality usage?
  • How could our natural social interactions be altered or threatened due to the use of technological realities?

Now, here are the links to all of my researched webpages for that of local impact:

Picture references: 

Conclusion:

Technological realities have the potential to create both beneficial and detrimental impacts within New Zealand. With these types of technologies increasing in their variant formats and mannerisms of use, it may ultimately come down to ‘consumer choice’; how the user chooses to indulge and interact with said technologies. Due to their being so many avenues of possible impact in which to explore, I have chosen to focus solely on how technological realities can affect our physical and mental health.

As we know, the introduction and normalisation of V.R technologies has already begun in New Zealand households; through smart T.V’s enabling 3D viewing and gaming. Recent technologies such as the Oculus Rift and Samsung gear VR are also popping up in local retail stores and are predicted to become ‘the next big thing.’ So, how could frequent use of such VR technologies affect us?

Auckland optometrist Alan Saks (Mortimer Hirst Eyecare) stresses that such devices potentially pose an increase toward long-term damaging effects in regards to our eyesight and sleep cycles. Shortsightedness, retinal damage (ability to process images) and macular degeneration (loss of central vision) are a the forefront of conversation here.

“Virtual reality works by tricking your brain into believing that you’re seeing a physical depth that isn’t actually there, but the fact that the screen is in reality only a few centimetres from the eyeball confuses the eye’s natural tracking and focusing processes when users try to readjust to their spatial environment…these processes normally work together, but with most VR headsets, because the object appears far away but the screen is only centimetres from the eyeball it creates a conflict for the eyes and visual system,” he says.

This brings me toward the social and mental impacts of Augmented Reality technologies. AR’s stand in as a gateway for our fuzzy imaginations to take on physical shapes and thus become more tangible visual concepts. Such as ‘trying on’ glasses online without having to go into a store. Although this may seem useful and beneficial, researchers fear that, as AR technology becomes the norm within society, humans may not be able to distinguish the real world from the immersive technological realms. As we become more attached to creating and engaging in ‘perfect alternate realities and situations’, we may become reliant on said technologies for sexual and social satisfaction, comfort and positive affirmations and begin to neglect our not so perfect, real-world around us. There are also concerns that somehow, as social beings, our AR worlds could become boundless, thus ruling out personalisation of information between peoples and nations.

(So long and short: feed off of Charlie’s slide: say something along the lines of “So as we can see, there are quite a few ways in which these technologies positively impact our everyday lives…give example: such as the make up app. BUT although there are many positive impacts, we must also address that there are possible negative impacts that could occur to our physical and mental wellbeing.) 

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