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What is Real?

Sogeti Labs
July 28, 2016

Define Real

Back in 2004, I had three dogs: Spinner, Turner and Twister. It was great to see them having a good time together, and great to take them out. They also loved to play with the red ball I had got for them. I always wanted to have many dogs!




I had a little house, on a small piece of land that could be defined as a prairie… Not much to look at, a dry waist land. I was happy to have a dune buggy I could take out on the track. These days I hosted many events with others to take a spin in the bugs, on bikes and boards.


I made some pennies on creative t-shirt designs and remember that I looked up to the sky wishing I could save enough to buy a boat. Then I discovered what I was really good at in this world: mentoring. I have helped so many people discover new insights to this world that it was literally valued with millions. I finally could get a boat, in fact; I could buy many boats. I invested some money in creating a hoverboard shaped like a Feather: The FeatherBoard I called it. I loved it and it got quite some attention. However on March 9, 2010 my world ended. I was bankrupt. A new reality started for me.


They took away my so-called richness: cars, house, bikes and all my personally designed goodies. But what was worse: I instantly got disconnected to all that I had mentored. It was the day closed. The end of one of the greatest virtual presences I experienced



These days we talk about virtual reality and augmented reality for having huge potential. I define virtual reality as everything we see being simulated and augmented reality as a blend between the real and the virtual, where (usually) facts and figures are commonly superimposed on top of the real environment. Although definitions may vary, a much more interesting development is the fresh wave of mixed reality, where a real-time simulated world or sub-world is projected on top of our ‘real’ world. It becomes fuzzier, it blends. Hard lines are harder to find. Definitions will blur too. Or even matter less.



“Morpheus: What is real? How do you define real?”

Consider this: your daughter of 8 years old tells everyone in her class that she got a new dog yesterday. She takes home her friends and plays with the dog – called ‘mysty’ – through an experience much like Microsoft Hololens or Magic Leap VR. They play with him and they might even take him for a walk and feed it.

Now imagine it is time for a holiday trip. Will she think of taking the dog with her? Maybe, she will. If you wouldn’t agree would she miss him? Would you miss him? Most of all, I still miss Spinner, Turner and Twister.

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SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


    2 thoughts on “What is Real?

    1. When it comes to the feelings people are experiencing, does it realy matter if they are based on real life or virtual experiences?
      I think the feeling you’re describing (about your experiences on are more like the once of nostalgia:
      “a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time:”
      It doesn’t matter the place you’re describing is a real or a virtual place, it’s about the way these places made you feel at the time and hwo you remember them now.
      The same applies to your daughter. Does it matter if “Mysty” is a real dog, a virtual generated one, a stuffed animal or even an imaginary one? What matters is the feeling they make you’re daughter experience.
      I think this is a story about feelings which (at least at the moment) will always be real.

    2. Exactly.
      It is like the prison that The Matrix is, it is real life because it seems real. Think of that the next time you wake up 😉
      Thanx for your comment!

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