No glasses for old eyes: What I see, she will not.

This week my nanna died. I’d like to share one of our last moments, as it has added an emotional aspect to my drive for VR/AR experience innovation…

I visited her in the nursing home with my mum on Easter Saturday. I was resting on nanna’s recliner, which she hadn’t used in weeks, because her body was failing her. The afternoon sun and gentle sea breeze washed the windowsill with light. A row of happy solar-powered bobbing plants moved in unique rhythms. Nanna could only listen, laugh, and say “yeah”.

There were lots of awkward silences that weren’t really awkward. Because of the dementia, they were half-awkward silences. She wasn’t able to identify the awkwardness, rather I think time had lost its meaning to her, as she floated from one word, one face to the next.

An old favourite topic, “What’s Shaun doing these days?”, came up. Mum started to explain Virtual Reality, which she’d only just learned about in the car ride down. I quickly jumped in, saying, “In the future, everyone will have glasses with computers in them,” and I put my hands to my face, trying to look like a clown with binoculars. She loved a bit of clowning around.

It should have been funny.

Nanna raised a wobbling curved finger and clawed at the corner of her eye. No, she won’t see it.

She won’t see the Virtual Reality tourists hopping between Egypt and Mars. She won’t see teams of Augmented Reality gamers fighting giant Pokemon in the street. She won’t chat with me in Facebook Spaces while I’m releasing a major update for my users.

But I will see it – I will make it.

My other Nanna died last year, and my Auntie said that if she’d been born 50 years later, she would have been in Tech or Engineering. I used to think, if I was born 20 years earlier, I would have owned a book store. Now I’m here, in this time, and my eyes are open. Digital experiences are about to explode.

I see it now.