Image source: zeevveez
Internet. But not just any internet, virtual reality internet. The future is closer than you think. The Verge reported in February that Facebook is spending big bucks to launch the Telephon Infra Project (TIP) in order to invite companies to join with them to focus on delivering high-res video and virtual reality, including the development of 5G networks. (Source)
Why is this important? Well, Forbes also released an article in February discussing the amount of bandwidth (5.2 Gbps) needed for humans to experience virtual reality comparable to what we experience in the "real world" in terms of sight, sound, and eventually, touch, smell, and temperature. (Source) We don't want to just look at the pretty kitty above, we want to hear it purr, rub our faces into its soft, warm fur, and then scream when it scratches us with its virtual claws.
What does 5.2 Gbps mean? Broadband speeds are measured in megabits per second. A bit is one piece of data and a megabit is a million pieces or bits of data. The higher your broad band speed, the faster you can download stuff or stream videos or whatever it is you want to do. (Source: Superfast Dorset.)
Want to know how fast your connection is right now? Go to Speedtest.net by Ookla. My download speed was a measly 3.15 Mbps and upload speed was 0.5 Mbps.
What is the difference between 3.15 Mbps and 5.2 Gbps? Take a look at the numbers: A megabit is 1 million bits or 1,000,000 and a gigabit is 1,000 million bits or 1,000,000,000 bits. So we are comparing 3,150,000 to 5,200,000,000. Big difference. No virtual reality for me!
And now for the promotional part of today's blog: My short story, Scrying the Plane, features a virtual reality version of the internet where users can ride the Minecraft roller coasters they've created, see flocks of Twitterbirds darken the sky, and choose whatever "skin" suits their mood. It's fun, but forbidden to anyone under 21. So, of course teenagers find ways to sneak in, and my story features the adventures of one such rebellious teen, named Lily Reynolds and what happens to her on the VRP (virtual reality plane). Scrying the Plane will be released on May 3 as part of the ISWG anthology Parallels, Felix Was Here, and you can find out more on the book's blog, Parallels.
What app or program would you like to experience in virtual reality?