Technology and Communication

Communication: How technology will change human interaction

Time to read: 10 min

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Communication Infographic Credit: TechJury,, Facebook Reality Labs, Randy Krum, Ying Lin, Nyma Malik, Spatial, Statista Research

Our Evolution

For as long as humans have walked this earth, communication has been an integral part of our own humanity. Our connection and collaboration with others allowed us to survive in the early days of man. Though separated by masses of land, different cultures created their own way of communication. Inventing gestures, symbols, sounds, languages, alphabets, written word to communicate ideas and to create shared understanding. We express ourselves and bond over our shared human experiences. Our communication evolved with our new tools and technology but also allowed for new tools and technology to thrive. Passing on stories and knowledge. Vast sharing of ideas and critiques. Exchanging of languages and learning new ones. Communication is what makes us human. We’ve had letters and printing, telephones and operators, fax machines, mobile phones, email, text messaging, and now we basically carry a little computer around in our pocket that can connect us to a network of people across the globe. That’s extraordinary don’t you think?

Where are we?

We live in a world where we are now more connected than ever but can feel suffocating isolation at the same time. Technology has made great strides with communication in breadth but is now lacking in depth. We can call people all over the globe. We can hold video conferencing in place of in-person meetings. We can quickly message each other in seconds. We can have more followers than you have ever encountered and have influence. We have a catalog of our internet lives at our fingertips, but are we having meaningful interaction?

Reading text messages are cold and most people would rather have a text conversation than talking to someone because they are worried about not having the backspace. We can sit in a room and engage with the world on your phone instead of with the people beside you. It feels as though the internet lifeline and constant bombarding stream of information is more important than a genuine conversation. Communication isn’t just releasing content into the world to be received by many, it is finding the right words, giving full undivided attention, eye-contact, body-language, and expression. Our current technology encourages rough draft thoughts over baffling insights. We are looking for a quick read and to move on even when we have the time to scroll for hours anyways. [19]

Our current technology has allowed for fast communication and second thoughts to allow your best self to be shown, but it feels lifeless. In the next two decades and beyond, we need new technology to recapture the meaning of communication.

Where are we going?


Spatial Credit: Spatial


A mass amount of people are already using AR in their daily lives. It's used in many apps like Snapchat and Pokémon Go. It’s used in advertising on furniture websites so you can visualize what that couch looks like in your own living room before committing to it. But AR could be pushed further with wider integration of its technology.

AR is the intersection point between our world and the digital one. It enhances what we can already see and touch around us and can provide more interaction with our world.[1] It can be used to show the history of an object by looking at it[2], animate still life pictures, and leave a digital footprint in the real world for someone else to discover.[1] It can transport a person into your own space and collaborate in a digital space.[10][18] This is human-centered technology.


AR can increase our physical interaction with the world and with one another as it just enhances what is already there. With AR, we can explore the world outside and gather new information in a heads-up display. You can create new worlds on top of your own for you and others to enjoy. You can virtually invite someone over to your house and have it be similar to the real thing in every way except physical. We can start to have real conversations with people again while seeing their body language and their facial expressions. Video conferencing ultimately fails because it doesn’t allow for “presence” in a shared space, meanwhile AR can provide that and more.


Codec Avatar Credit: Facebook Reality Labs


Many people think of video games when they think of VR. While that is currently a primary use for VR, I believe that VR will become more widely integrated into everyday use. VR has the ability to completely transport us into another world, another life, another story. This is extremely powerful. It can be used for video games yes, but it can be used for so much more than that. It can be used as an art form[14], a story telling device[13], a news outlet,[15] the front row to a concert or a sports game, a 360˚ documentary of a war zone or of refugees,[6][13] or to experience being another person. [6]


VR allows us to bridge the gap between reading or hearing something or looking at a picture and trying to piece together our own ideas and experiences to try to understand the content and context, and to experience it instead in real time. Instead “your consciousness is the medium” in which you can gather new information [13]. Being placed into a new story can help us to build empathy for those who actually live in these situations.

Besides creating a better understanding of others which I believe is one of the most important parts of connection, VR allows you to communicate verbally and physically. You can meet with others inside the virtual world. You can explore other worlds or planets together, solve puzzles and collaborate, or just sit down by a fake fire under a breathtaking view of uninhibited stars and have deep conversation without outside distractions. You are taken out of the current world of nonstop information and placed into a new one to truly bond with others. Technology is also being developed to export your entire body and face into a light-weight realistic 3D model that can fully capture your expressions while you emote them.[4][17]

What does it all mean?

Why is this next evolution of technology so important? It brings back communication between people in a human centered way. For so long we have been stuck with technology we have to adapt to in order to express ourselves virtually to others. We have been trapped in this 2D space where we don’t fully realize what others want us to experience. We accommodated computers for way to long and instead we should be able to interact with each other and our environment naturally and let the computers handle the rest. What will this new technology bring with it?


Until AR and VR, in order to experience something new, you had to either experience it firsthand or imagine it through words, pictures or film. Some things you just may have never known what it would be like. With AR and VR you can be immersed into the experience. You can discover new creatures from remote parts of the world and actually see their scale compared to yourself, traverse cities and landscapes that exist or visit ones that don’t, or live the life of your role model. This new technology can open up our own curiosities and allow us to pursue it without limits.[7]


Email is impossible when it comes to collaboration. There are more and more applications that allow for easier collaboration like Slack, Google Drive, and Box, but you can still feel disconnected in the online space and type over each other when working in the same document. You can have a meeting in person, but then it feels like not everyone has the power to contribute. With this new technology, everyone has the power to add, markup, and archive. Decisions and notes can also be kept in that virtual space so they can be brought back up again at a later time or sent off to another team to work on. It was also discovered that height difference could affect one’s confidence to speak up but in a virtual world, everyone is on level ground. [10][18]


Finally, the most important need for this technology is connection to others. We have too many empty conversations passed over text message and the only deep connections we can make with each other is in-person. If we want to all become closer, we need to have these deep connections even over distances. This technology can bridge the gap between us and provide a better atmosphere for conversation. AR and VR can help create this new era of empathy and we can all understand each other a little better.


  • Technology has allow us to communicate with others all over the world but it still hasn't fully captured the experience of human interaction. AR and VR are the next steps to achieving this dream.
  • Curiosity: AR and VR will grant people the ability to explore their curiosities and learn together with others.
  • Collaboration: AR and VR will create a better space for collaboration where everyone is on a level playing field and it automatically saves important contributions.
  • Connection: AR and VR will allow for a deeper connection than text, email, or even video conferencing. It will display facial expressions, body language, and develop a better sense of presence.

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