Ten years from today, the center of our digital lives will no longer be the smart phone, but device that looks like ordinary eyeglasses: except those glasses will have settings for Virtual and Augmented Reality. What you really see and what is computer generated will be mixed so tightly together, that we won’t really be able to tell what is real and what is illusion.
Instead of touching and sliding on a mobile phone, we will make things happen by moving our eyes or by brainwaves. When we talk with someone or play an online game, we will see that person in the same room with us. We will be able to touch and feel her or him through haptic technology.
We won’t need to search online with words, because there will be a new Visual Web 100 times larger than the current Internet, and we will find things by images, buy things by brands, or just by looking at a logo on the jacket of a passerby. Language will be irrelevant, and a merchant in a developing world will have access to global markets.
Medical devices will cure schizophrenia, allow quadriplegics to walk. People will be able to touch and feel objects and other people who are not actually there for conversations, games and perhaps intimate experiences.
From Kindergarten to on-the-job, learning will become experiential. Children will visit great battlefields and tour historic places in VR rather than read about them in text books. Med students and surgeons will learn and practice on virtual humans rather than cadavers; oil rig workers will understand how to handle emergencies, before the ever leave the home office.
Virtual Reality is simply an experience that immerses you in another world. Augmented Reality is an experience where you can see the real world around you but there is also computer-generated visuals seen as an overlay. And mixed reality is an experience where similar to AR, there are computer generated visuals but they are immersed with the real world, a key aspect is that they are anchored and appear to be a part of the real world. I’m going to touch on VR a little but my focus is on AR and MR because I believe they have the broadest potential to impact life in the future. The origin of AR and VR trace back to the cinematographer Morton Heilig, who created the Sensorama in 1962.
The Senorama was one of the earliest examples of immersive multi-sensory technology, and it was a motorcycle simulator featured a 3D film, stereo audio and it even simulated wind and aromas, incredible technology for 1962! Six years later in 1968, the Father of Computer Graphics Ivan Sutherland, and his student Bob Sproull invented the SWORD OF DAMOCLES, the first Virtual Reality Headset or Head Mounted Display, and was designed to help helicopter pilots land at night.
Then in 1990, Thomas Caudell of Boeing first coined the term Augmented Reality when they were asked to develop a way to guide workers in the factory. And fast forward to today, where we are on the near the advent of the AR and VR era. There is an explosion of AR glasses or Smart glasses that are available or being released in the near future but I’m going to focus and the more high-profile developers and products. And the most interesting AR glasses to me are the ones Apple is working on.
In October 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the technology does not exist that would allow for the development of AR Smart glasses in a quality way. He went on to say that the company would not release an AR product until it could deliver a great experience, and also said that the field of view and quality of displays of existing Smart glasses are not up to what they would be satisfied releasing.
In other words, when Apple finally releases an AR device, it will be incredible. The Hololens focuses is a mixed reality headset, release on March 30th, 2016 as a development addition. There is currently not a consumer version at this time. Interestingly, the HoloLens’ technology trace back to the Xbox box Kinect that was introduced in 2010.
You see that technology in the Kinect that allows players to control videogames with their bodies, is used in the HoloLens to allow for users to control holograms.
Magic Leap was founded in 2010 and has received investments from many big companies such as Google and Alibaba with a total of $1.4 Billion raised in total.
In 2017, they announced their first product, the Magic Leap One, which features the glasses called light wear, a controller, built-in audio in the headband, a camera so you can take videos and pictures, a microphone for voice commands, and a computing platform called Lightpack.
The ARkit is the set of software development tools for developers to build augmented-reality apps for iOS.
It allows developers to create three-dimensional images in your world using visual inertial odometry, which harnesses your phone or tablet’s sensors to track your world and sense your device’s orientation and position.
ARCore was launched back in February and Google has been working with Various companies who are working on AR Apps, such as Sony, Porsche, among others.
So it’s been a year since Apple ARKit was released and ARCore was recently released, and there are a handful of games so far but nothing groundbreaking just yet.
The IoT is simply the physical objects that are connected to the internet, pretty much all are smart items, such as smart TVs, thermostats etc.
Today there are over 23 BILLION items connected to the internet and that figure is estimated to rise to over 75 BILLION by 2025.
5 G stands for 5th Generation mobile network, the 1st generation was used in the 1980’s and used analog protocols, the 2nd generation was used in the 90’s when networks changed to digital, and the 3rd generation came in 2001 and was the first mobile broadband-capable network and then the 4th generation that is common today came out in 2010 and is a True Mobile broadband network.
Sources: The Fourth Transformation by Robert Scoble & Shel Israel.
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