Next Big Thing at CES to delve into new realities

There's a new reality growing, a digital reality, a world of information and interaction evolved from concepts to objects. It's a world that we've all built bit by bit, a world we access through our desktops and laptops and carry in our pockets inside our smartphones. Soon, those realities will escape these devices and be laid atop the real world.

In last year's Next Big Thing Supersession at CES 2014, we spoke about major improvements for hardware and how devices are getting better at detecting the world around you. This year, we're looking at how devices enhance that world -- and create entirely new ones.

Virtual worlds are about to go mainstream. With Facebook's high-profile $2 billion acquisition of Oculus this year, it's clear that the industry thinks the time for virtual reality (VR) is near. While some applications like gaming seem natural, that sky-high valuation shows that VR is expected to have a far greater impact on your life.

And then there's augmented reality (AR), the art of applying the knowledge of the digital world on top of the physical. Google Glass is the poster child for AR, but that device barely scratches the surface of what's possible -- especially once the technology is ready to make for a seamless experience.

What does the future hold for the real world, augmented world and virtual world? That's the question that Brian Cooley and I will pursue with a group of leaders in the complementary fields of VR and AR.

Next Big Thing at CES to delve into new realities

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