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This six-minute short film plunges you into an augmented reality hellscape

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"What if advertising, but too much?" That's often the formula for short films about augmented reality. (Thanks to The Verge's VR expert Adi Robertson for that one-liner.) But this new entry into the genre from artist Keiichi Matsuda still feels compelling, not least because the visuals are so beautifully hectic. Every physical surface in "HYPER-REALITY" has been plastered with holographic images, often to the point of obscuring the underlying world altogether.

I think the film feels so disturbingly familiar, though, not because the protagonist's POV is surrounded by adverts, but more personal messages as well — notifications, to-do lists, even a virtual "inspiration guru" from a temping agency. Fatigue in modern life doesn't just come from adverts, but the often never-ending stream of prods and pokes that remind you that your life is being measured out in ways beyond your control. Maybe a more accurate summary of "HYPER-REALITY" is: what if capitalism, but too much?


Project Tango's augmented reality is as weird as ever