This Short Film Is a Cyberpunk Masterpiece About Our Augmented Reality Future

Everything about this short sci-fi film is too real for me.

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May 20 2016, 2:26pm

Image: Keiichi Matsuda

There's not too much to write about Hyper-Reality, a new short film from Keiichi Matsuda, that the film doesn't already say itself. Anyone who has played a free-to-play game, called up tech support, lived through smartphone notification hell or visited a website on their smartphone will instantly feel like Matsuda's vision of our augmented reality future hits too close to home.

The crowdfunded film follows a young woman walking through a combination of Medellín, Colombia and a virtual, augmented reality world filled with real-life popup ads, virtual barking dog mini games, "ongoing" VR calls, and muggers who steal your blood to steal your identity. The film is a dark cyberpunk masterpiece, the best short film of this type I've seen in years.

When we watch demos for things like Magic Leap, they seem amazing, fanciful, and fun. Who wouldn't want to wear glasses that make rainbow jellyfish float around the room? But then, if you think about it for a second, you realize that the future's probably going to be closer to the one Matsuda envisions.

My colleague Brian Anderson pointed out that while we're starting to see the beginnings of this sort of tech now, it'll probably be decades before augmented reality scales to the point we see anything of this scale.

"I hope I'm gone by the time it becomes the norm, if it ever does," Brian said.