There comes a time in a person’s life when dropping acid just does not pay off like it once did in the early days. It seems the mind-bending horrors that often emerge in the middle of a trip can become a little more intense, more difficult to overcome and the aches that consume the body following the come-down have a way of morphing into a bizarre disease that feels like something in between the swine flu and a vicious case of spinal meningitis—leaving the user in a guilt-ridden state of buyer’s remorse and despair.
But the way people trip, at least the method for which they use to experience hallucinations, is on the verge of becoming a little more controlled than it is with the sometimes unpredictable counsel of LSD.
Microsoft is reportedly developing a new virtual reality technology that will allow the user to take a psychedelic trip into various realms of madness without suffering the after effects often felt after an acid bender. The company’s latest development is not believed to be some limp-dimensional voyage into that part of the brain that prompts a person to yawn excessively, but rather more of proverbial French tickler being jammed inside every soggy orifice of the human mind.
And from the way it sounds, this virtual mind fuckery of technicolor proportions could likely be available within the next 10 years.
“By 2027 we will have ubiquitous virtual reality systems that will provide such rich multisensorial experiences that will be capable of producing hallucinations which blend or alter perceived reality,” said Microsoft researcher Mar Gonzalez Franco.
“Using this technology, humans will retrain, recalibrate and improve their perceptual systems,” she continued. “In contrast to current virtual reality systems that only stimulate visual and auditory senses, in the future the experience will expand to other sensory modalities including tactile with haptic devices.”
This means the new VR technology will be designed to provide the user with the benefit of touch, in addition to having the eyes and ears manhandled by random twists of reality.
Unfortunately, since this technology does not appear to have the ability to feed off a person’s emotional state, nor will it likely come with the power to channel those feelings buried deep down inside the darkest pits of the soul, this unit is not expected to be much more than an expensive novelty used to transport the average person on a series of generic trips through a digital kaleidoscope.
There are also some concerns that this kind of artificial intelligence will only put more of our daily lives on display for the shadows of industry and government—providing “the man” with yet another tool to keep his finger firmly on the pulse of the American citizen.
So, while tripping LSD may at times make a person feel as though they are being watched, the virtual reality trip will almost guarantee it.