The technology, called haptics, uses ultrasonic sound waves to simulate solids. Sound waves can be manipulated so that they can change shape and size, one day maybe giving us invisible buttons to press. Experiments have even be conducted where sonic “tractor beams” can levitate and move small objects.
As technology gets perfected it has a tendency to become invisible. Perhaps in the future we take VR for granted and forget it’s even there. Your story might be a philosophical exploration of whether we can ever discern reality from a clever simulation. Maybe the humans of tomorrow would rather plug in and tune into an ideal augmented reality - and drop out of the imperfect world around them.