VR in Mine Design

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
A (W.T2.F.) Series

Short Story Time

Andy is a PhD student at the University of Welcome to the Future. He’s been assigned a research project at a mine in Sweden, far from his home in Los Angeles, California. But at the University of WTF, that’s no problem at all. As a student there he has unlimited access to all future tech. Unreal right! In preparation for his meeting, he caches the foldable screens and closes the hologram charts and diagrams around his makeshift office.

“Your scheduled meeting is in 5 minutes,” says SIM*, his AIPA.*

Andy nods to himself, stretches out on the comfy seats and grabs one of the headsets conveniently stowed in a hidden compartment to his right. There’s a brief moment where he can see the LA streets pass by as well as the conference room as he activates the VR headset. Then, he’s in the VR conference room and ohhhh boy what a work of art it is; a heaven in VR for both architect and engineer.

Each time he’s struck by the room’s simple sophistication, but there’s a catch. The room doesn’t actually exist so it’s for that reason only the design saw no limits to its making. It’s in this virtual room that he can meet his supervisor, engineers from the Swedish mine, or whoever else he may need to see. What’s so fucking cool is that he doesn’t have to speak a word of Swedish either; everything is translated in real time. Language has never been his forte after all.

“Hey Andy, how’s it going today?” asks Thing One, his direct supervisor and a renowned prof. at the University of Welcome to the Future. Lucky guy does all his work from some island in the ¬†Indonesian archipelago off West Papua. The Raja Ampat islands, if he remembers correctly.

They get through the formalities, then straight to business. They all switch their location to the virtual mine, an exact replica of the Swedish Trevlig Kryptonit(e) Mine. They’ve had trouble with mining induced seismicity and rockbursting when production progresses beyond 700m depth, and that’s why they’re meeting today. It’s action time.

“See this,” says Andy, going on to explain his solution to Thing Two, the rep. from the Swedish mine. Using holographic numerical models in the VR-scape, he explains the extensive data that examines the interaction between the mining and geological systems.

When he wraps up the presentation with a virtual demonstration of his proposed solution, Thing One and Thing Two applaude and they jump back into the conference room. “Brilliant,” says Thing One.

The meeting ends with a virtual pat on the back (he gives himself a real pat on the back just cause he’s feelin’ smug) and then he’s back in sunny California. Perfect timing. He steps out of his driverless vehicle and onto the Venice Boardwalk. With a few taps to the driverless app, his car locks and zooms away to self-park. Already in beach attire, he’s so ready for that future BBQ.

A W.T2.F. series

by @scifi.anne.marie

*SIM- AI simulator

*AIPA- Artificially intelligent personal assistant

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