Let’s move on and consider, in the consumer space, the existence of services like movies and music on demand. These are present in the cyberspace, in some clouds of a service provider, yet, once we subscribe, they are becoming part of our ambient, our home. Alexa may be a bridge to access this Digital Reality made of music and more. Interestingly, Alexa is doing more than playing the role of a browser/interface. It learns about our taste and habits. In doing so it is creating a digital reality adapted to our environment and mood.
My home, as I experience it, as well as you experience it when visiting me, is becoming a physical place finely tuned by a digital reality (music, images, lighting) that is coming from the cyberspace and orchestrated by some sort of software.
It is not just my home. When there are over 100 million devices embedding Alexa it means that a new way of living is emerging, one where you just voice your questions on weather, on what you would like to listen. In a way is like having an Aladdin lamp at home, supporting perhaps little less magic but at the same time it is becoming so entrenched in our everyday life to have an even bigger impact on our behaviour than that magical lamp.
On second thought, I am not that sure that Alexa delivers a second-tier magic if compared to Aladdin’s lamp. Think about it: the Genie asks Aladdin what was the wish to grant, and that seemed quite reasonable to us kids. How could the Genie know in advance what was on Aladdin’s mind?
Yet, sometimes Alexa seems too know what’s on our mind, what our tastes are, what we would like to listen to…
The concept of Digital Twin is along this lines. A digital twin is mirroring a physical reality but it is also a history of the evolution of that reality (its digital thread) and provides ways to software applications to use the Physical Reality mirrored in the cyberspace to transform it, creating a new Digital Reality that is no longer mirroring the original Physical Reality but has the power of affecting our perception of Reality by overlaying it on our perceived Reality.
The point I am making is that not only the boundaries between the physical and digital realities are getting fuzzier, the digital reality may transform the physical reality, or in other words a new reality is emerging, the one where physical and digital are coalescing.