Augmented Reality in Cold Reboot
 
It's funny to talk about visuals when discussing an audio drama, but even funnier when you consider that the cyberpunk thriller Cold Reboot  started life as the first novel in the Shadow Decade series. Very  different beasts, prose and audio, with entirely different strengths and  weaknesses. The act of adaptation is very much the act of translation,  of converting the inner expression of a novel's emotional reality into  an external landscape. 

In the novel, the reader indulges in  Erica's experiential reality of the future through her senses, and what  feelings those sensations evoke within her. We ride along, inside her  head, and know the setting primarily through her fictive lens. While the  audio drama does employ a device in the recordings Erica makes as part  of her therapy, this is second-hand. We're not experiencing what Erica  feels, we're hearing her describe it.

Instead, the strength of audio drama is what we hear. The soundscape gives us our taste of the future.

What is the future experience like?

But  in creating the future, in deciding what Erica experiences, in what the  listener experiences, the creators of the work have to be able to fully  visualize what the setting is like. The tepid coffee. The stale  polluted air. The gentle hum of surveillance drones hovering just out of  sight. And, of course, augmented reality.

This plays the biggest  part in our future -- the extra layer of technologically granted sensory  input. The in-your-face internet you can never really get away from.  When I was originally writing the books, I based the future's invasive  information glut based on current trends and future speculation.  Information overload is common to the cyberpunk genre, but in the case  of Cold Reboot we're not dealing with Virtual Reality, but Augmented Reality.

I guessed. You don't have to.

While working on the next evolution of Cold Reboot's  story, an upcoming simulation game where players try to get by in a  situation similar to Erica's, I came across two videos by filmmaker  Keiichi Matsuda that are eerily close to what I'd envisioned the future  is like. Check them out:

HYPER-REALITY from Keiichi Matsuda on Vimeo.

Augmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop from Keiichi Matsuda on Vimeo.

A  lot of this... specifically the marketing applications, the reliance on  tools, and the drabness of the world when the pictures are taken  away... ring very true to me. I can't wait to see the next short film in  the series.