Heimtextil Blog der Messe Frankfurt
How virtual is our reality already?

New technologies and innovations are infiltrating the different spheres of life on an almost daily basis. Some innovations creep into our everyday lives. Others are announced with much ado. Today, we look at two developments that make us ask, what is still real nowadays?

Curse or blessing?

With its TrueDepth camera, which can identify more than 50 facial points in real time, the iPhone X can not only bring emojis to life but also unlock the telephone’s display without any physical input. The new Face ID with over 30,000 invisible dots maps the geometry of the user’s face. Thus, the iPhone X can also recognise its owner’s face in the dark, even if he or she has changed their looks, e.g., through a new hair style. Moreover, Apple wants iOS to become the world’s biggest platform for augmented reality. In the iPhone X product film, the developers show a dinosaur running across a basketball court full of players. We ask ourselves whether modern technology is leading to a loss of reality. Or whether devices of this kind extend our horizons?

A new world: hyper reality

Have you ever heard of hyper reality? Yes, it exists – in the virtual-reality leisure parks created by a US start-up ‘The Void’. The company enables visitors to immerse themselves in a hyper reality, i.e., a computer game where everything appears real, via data glasses with headphones and microphone, as well as a waistcoat and gloves fitted with sensors for haptic feedback and body-tracking. The result is an immersive VR experience in a visually, physically and emotionally different world. You feel the wind and the dampness on your skin, smell the mouldy stench of a basement, feel vibrations, sense differences in height and interact physically with elements that appear digitally. On the stages of the Void Centre, where you can encounter dinosaurs again or wage war in space, reality becomes as one with virtuality and new worlds without limits are created. But, where does reality end and where does hyper-reality begin?

Are dinosaurs alive today?

Until very recently, small children were told that dinosaurs are extinct – but what should we tell them today? The various dimensions of reality are becoming increasingly blurred by the virtuality we have created. On the one hand, we are degraded into transparent citizens through companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook, which collect biometric, private and personal data from their users. On the other hand, we are living more and more in parallel worlds that we create ourselves using VR and AR Technologies.

The boundaries of reality are becoming increasingly blurred from day to day – and we are only at the beginning. Technological progress cannot be stopped and will change many aspects of our life in ways that are unimaginable at present. You need only look back over the amazing innovations of recent years. And, if we are to become more and more virtual, this will also impact on architecture. Are you prepared?

Architects must equip themselves if they want to play a role in the future, too.

Visit the next Heimtextil fair in Frankfurt am Main from 9 to 12 January 2018 where we from the Finest Interior Award will ask “What’s real?”

Photo: metha1819 / shutterstock


FINEST INTERIOR AWARDThe FINEST INTERIOR AWARD was created to honour the work of architects, interior architects and interior decorators and take account of the growing demand for individual and professional contract furnishing. The communicative focal point of this year’s FINEST INTERIOR AWARD is the digitalisation of reality. What impact are virtual reality and augmented reality having on architecture, interior architecture and interior decoration? What changes do they imply for the job descriptions of these professions? And what benefits are they likely to have for consumers? The FINEST INTEROR AWARD will tackle these and other interesting questions in its guest commentaries under the motto ‘What’s real?’.
The award will be presented on the eve of Heimtextil in Frankfurt. During the fair, there will be an information featuring the winners in the foyer of Hall 4.0.


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