Virtual pets

We are getting ever nearer to a time when many people will be wearing mixed reality eyewear, and nobody will be thinking about it anymore. This is the next step in a technology evolution that currently has everyone carrying a SmartPhone in their pocket.

When we are all seeing a shared cybernetically enhanced world with our own eyes, a number of things will change. One of those things will probably be the proliferation of virtual pets.

Real pets are delightful, if somewhat hard to take care of. They keep us company, surprise us, often show us affection, and give us a living being to take care of and nurture.

But if you need to go away for two weeks, you can’t just leave your pet at home. You need to find a way to take care of it, to feed it, to make sure it is ok.

So when the technology makes it possible to have virtual pets roaming around that can be seen and interacted with by all, I wonder how many people will choose that option. Of course it won’t be the same as a real pet, but it doesn’t need to be. It will be its own thing.

After all, a movie is not the same as a play, but people still go to both. One does not replace the other. Rather, each has the potential to enrich our lives in its own unique way.

4 thoughts on “Virtual pets”

  1. Everytime a child says ‘I don’t believe in virtual pets’ there is a little virtual pet somewhere that falls down dead.**

    ** with apologies to J. M. Barrie

  2. “everyone carrying a SmartPhone in their pocket” where “everyone” is approximately 80% in the United States.

    In other words, two out of ten of us are not carrying smart phones in our pockets. Actually, it’s closer to three out of ten of us, since that 80% includes people who use their smart phones approximately once a month. If you look at active users (i.e., the ones likely to have their smart phone with themselves), it’s closer to 70%.

  3. It might be different when the choice involves a more obvious form of social signaling. Nobody is really sure if you have a phone in your pocket. But everyone will know whether you are wearing smart glasses.

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