The world of XR is limitless but far more fragile. Downtime at one point meant there was a broken conveyer belt at the factory. Today it implies devices and servers are no longer communicating correctly.
When Twitter or Instagram go through downtime various users inevitably panic. Still, there’s a bit of a wall between us and the platform. We hear the dings of notifications and see the colorful interactive animations but it’s all often on a tiny little rectangle in our hands. The meatspace surrounding us is still more influential on our senses.
As the XR industry becomes more immersive, downtime will become, in a sense, world-ending. You’re having a meeting with top executives from all over the world, and suddenly your mouth stops working because the space is buffering or completely shuts off.
Our very reality is dependent on all systems working right, and that means we’re dependent on the engineers and designers making sure there isn’t any faulty code or mechanical failure. These sites could have a 404 error (when their particular environment isn’t found by the server) or perhaps a 451 error (when their space isn’t loading for legal reasons).
Anxiety could heighten for people who spend enough time in virtual reality that it becomes an integral part of their existence. A daily mundane routine could literally freeze in place or your surrounding environment might not load correctly.
It’s appears inevitable that sooner or later there will be parts of the population who spend more time in virtual reality than in our meatspace. The only time these individuals will be leaving is to go eat, go to the bathroom, or panic when there’s downtime.
A priority of these XR companies above graphics or immersion technologies will be making sure downtime is as rare as possible.