Writing About Technology You Can’t Use
Spoiler: it’s tough.
When I was in my early 20’s, the ability to see in 3D became a thing of the past for me. I’d lost a few pretty important eye functions through some sight-saving surgery (yes, I know it’s strange to think I needed to lose some to gain some). The point is, lattice degeneration meant no more 3D.
Coincidentally, the highly-praised movie Avatar came out not long after I lost 3D. Was I bitter? Oh, so very much yes. As time progressed, I’ve had to get over it. Mostly because you can’t function well in the world if you’re salty about everything; you need to move forward. Sometimes I stand in the television department staring at the 3D TVs willing the images to pop off of the screen. Japan has some fantastic TV departments, but that’s another topic for another time.
Professionally, however, it has been more difficult to let go of in recent years. It’s not an emotional stumbling block; it’s a purely physical one. So much of the technology being developed today exists in the magical world of VR and AR. Being able to build technology that bridges the real and the perceived is incredible, and I strongly believe the practical applications are going to be incredibly impactful.
Sometimes I stand in the television department staring at the 3D TVs willing the images to pop off of the screen. Japan has some fantastic TV departments, but that’s another topic for another time In nearly every position I’ve held, at some point I’m faced with writing about a technology I can’t exactly use. Sure, I could fake it. I could also say I’m incapable of writing about it. But I choose the third option, which is tackling the challenge.
How? Research and memories. I lost the bonus features of sight well into my vision history. I have at least twenty years of depth perception, single vision, and 3D under my belt. So I must admit, much of my writing about these futuristic technologies starts in the past for me. After I start thinking about how I may have experienced it, I research as much as I can. I read first-hand accounts. I watch videos of people testing out the tech. I put my past self in their future shoes.
The point of this story is to share that sometimes we all hit a stumbling block when creating content. It’s not always the perfect match or a seamless narrative. You may have to cobble together research and memories like I do. The main thing to always remember is to be genuine and create good, solid content. It will always rise above your limitations.