Tag: #AR

Augmented World Expo 2018: Future of Work!

AWE 2018, Santa Clara, CA

 

It was an extraordinary three days at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Thousands descended to talk about our increasingly augmented world.  Founders, creators, entrepreneurs, investors, creatives, corporates, students, and startups lead and participated in robust conversations focused on AR Cloud, blockchain, and storytelling in AR.

 

 

Epson

I was impressed by the new Epson mixed reality glasses.  The field of view was 23-degrees, but what I loved was the comfort level. And there were some really interesting companies, the vast majority building products and services  in the Future of Work categories of healthcare, retail, security and marketing.

Some of the companies I found most impressive:  @obsessVR  @PerioSim @Xeste.io @CameraIQ #NeuroRehabVR #WallAR.

AWE announced they’ve added a conference in Israel this Fall.

Living The Future

“When can I make some artificial intelligence?” she asked.

My daughter recently opened a conversation asking when she could start making artificial intelligence (AI). It was a Sunday evening and she was finishing some homework around 7:30p.m.;  work that could  have easily been done on Saturday, but I digress.  I had an idea of where this was heading, but wanting to make sure, I asked why she wanted to know.  Head down, pencil moving, without missing a beat, she says,  “I want to know when I can make some AI to do my math homework, all of it at once.”

Aright then.  Siobhan is nine.   Was I surprised by this question, no. She sees AI in shows online and reads about it fictional worlds and in her non-fiction books on her ipad.   She understands the basics,  this thing called AI can, does and will make her life easier.

DASH ROBOT

And she’s thinking about ways to speed up that process, for applications that will help her out right now.  She may be young, but she’s hardly alone. From students to CEOs, millions of people right now, today are thinking about what AI is or can be, how to use it, when and increasingly, more importantly who can make.

SKYKING Mini Drones

This conversation with my daughter is taking place in a home shared with two robots-Dash and MiPtwo SKYKING Mini Drones, iPhones, iPads, a Samsung Gear VR headset, Samsung Galaxy phones and an assortment of other pieces of technology; some of which did not exist on the consumer market even 5 years ago.  We are living in the future right now.   These emerging technologies have working applications. They work and thousands and thousands all over the world are working to make them work better.    And while it’s real hard to imagine what will be hanging out in our homes ten years from now, we do know the tech is developing rapidly.  To put it all in context lets not forget the iPhone was born to consumers in 2007, barely eleven years ago.

MiP WowWee Mini Robot

 

While we wrestle with the continuum of mixed emotions that change often triggers, let’s not forget that right now, today, we are living parts of what the future will bring.

Reality: There Will Be Winners.

Travel at the speed of light.  That’s the superpower my amazing 9 year old daughter said recently she would love to have. Why?  She wants to be able to see things being made everywhere in the world whenever she wants. She wants to hang out in Denmark at Lego, Florida at NASA, Antartica at one of the science stations, bouncing between and among many places.

The way she sees it, the only really cool places to be are where new things are being made or the blocks for making things are being created, in other words, where change is alive and thriving.   She gets a thrill out of change and discovery and realization, which is actually what a lot of human “discovery” is.  That is to say bacteria exists and North America existed before people identified either.  Change is jet fuel for the process.  We change what we do, what we think, how we think, how we do what we do based on the every, flowing nugget of identification and realization.

While it can be scary or great fun depending on your perspective, it is inevitable.  Technology is a tremendous symbol of constant evolution, sometimes small and then often every once in a while, huge.  We are at a HUGE moment right now.   New threads, related threads and entirely new lines of inquiry are exploding around digital transformation.  There are potential applications for every single part of our personal and work lives. The rate at which we embrace this in the marketplace depends on our ability to travel not at the speed of light per se, but across disciplines and functions, to assign focus and resources on the potential roads to adoption that either optimize our business or create new products and services.

I have this conversation almost daily with executives across industries from healthcare to entertainment to industrial manufacturing.  They are often surprised when I say, don’t spend all your time or all your money on what’s coming, but a small percentage of both and do it consistently.  They say they expect me to push harder for more money spent on virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence and son on.  No.  Development takes time and there are too many pieces right now to even have a cohesive plan in most businesses as to what the application is, who to hire, how to engage consumer/enterprise base and so on.  But there are guardrails, because there will be winners.

“What are some of the ingredients to getting on that practice path to winning?

1) Pay Attention and Be Curious

Take time to stay close to what’s happening on the ground and assign this task to a person who knows your business so they can assess and understand the applications to your core business. It’s shocking how many people I’ve talked to legacy companies who have absolutely no idea, and haven’t even tried any VR/AR experiences, blockchain is something they’ve heard of but aren’t sure what it is, and AI they think is being “worked” on internally. Don’t be that company.

2) Allocate Enough Resources

There is so much to research, experiment on/with and perfect for these technologies to be used in new ways.  It requires significant R&D resources and the risk that comes along with that. The cold, hard fact is a lot of things might not work at all, but that’s critical intelligence. And the other side of the coin is that something eventually will work. This is not to say quit the elements of your day job, but some minimal amount of time needs to be spent because, given your expertise, you might actually help accelerate what that winning, home-run unicorn company, product, or service might actually look like.  And lest you forget, your competition, somewhere out there might be taking that extra step that will catapult them ahead no matter how far your lead today might be.

3) Weigh the Risk and Rewards

There’s been a steady stream of analysis and reports on emerging technology, some free others for pay.  Deloitte Insights covers a lot of ground, McKinsey&Company just released a paper on AI, and Goldman Sach’s 2016 VR/AR report reveals wide agreement among technologists, practitioners, and key market players that the next generation of computing is here, and in short order it will grow to become a trillion-dollar global market within the next decade across enterprise and consumer products. They don’t say that in a vacuum.  If you’re paying attention, you’ve already seen the evolving products and the promise behind them. (See suggestion #1, above.)

That’s a good start. It’s not so much as suspending belief; it’s more about getting past the inability to see all the possibilities that lay ahead. I remember those days in the not-so-distant past when people would actually argue about why anyone would want a personal computer in their home. It sounds crazy today, but it wasn’t then. While most seem to accept AI is the new way of life, current VR/AR conversation often veers into crazy territory.  And those arguments are likely to sound crazy ten years from now. Believe that. Something new is coming.  Remember above all else, there will be winners.

Storytelling is like .. is like … can I get a metaphor please?

It’s easy to understand why a person might be confused about what the heck is going on with emerging immersive technologies.

What does that even mean? 

First, the emphasis is on technologIES as in there are many that are impacting one another.  To keep it simple, I’ll stick with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).  This may not be a perfect metaphor, but I often liken the technologies of VR and AR to Microsoft Suite products (Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel).  To be clear, VR is the use of computer generated imagery or 360 video that allows a user to feel “presence,” a sense of being there; immersed via a headset providing a 3 dimensional experience.  AR is a digitally created image that is placed in the physical world, think a digital image of Donald Duck sitting next to you at lunch.

As for Microsoft, anyone from fashion designers to brain surgeons can use Powerpoint for any purpose and Excel has probably evolved in ways the inventors never thought about.

 

Could be anyone!

In a not to distant future, immersive technology will be just as ubiquitous.  Can you guess by looking at the woman below, what exactly she experiencing? No.

Good Times.

By themselves, VR and AR, are agnostic to purpose. It’s only in the application does it bring meaning to the user.  And there are tremendous uses that will affect ways we live and work from  going to the doctor or selling sneakers.

As a storyteller in tech, I am constantly trying to help inventors, entrepreneurs and investors explain their vision clearly, increasing the odds their audiences will understand and relate. It can be incredibly challenging. How do we put words to something that has never existed before?

I was honored to work with some visionaries at a recent health care accelerated run by NYC Media Lab and Publicis Health.  I was incredibly impressed by how quickly these teams-working on AR applications from optimizing physical therapy to engaging young women in preventative healthcare- were able to revise their initial attempts at articulating their vision and prototypes.

The most important effort each of the six teams made was to zone in on what their audience members might relate to as a human being, and as a professional.  It can be as simple as a question: how many of you have had physical therapy? In a group of adults chances are most and right there the odds are more likely the listener will be interested in what comes next.

Obviously, there is much, much more to telling a story, but like all things sometimes sticking to one point is a worthy mission.

 

More Headlines Like THIS, Please

“Everyone is trying to decide the rules of VR and AR, because it’s a big mess. By Hugh Langley”

People want to untangle the VR mess
source: Wearable.com

It’s tough for media makers.  Technology is changing fast.  I’ve sat in dozens of corporate offices the past few years listening to executives, in great frustration, try to figure out the future.   The future products, team make up;  right mix of skill sets who can build media products that- they desperately hope- will dazzle consumers and enterprise clients.

The “invisible” hand of invention, who knows what comes next.

We have learned,  the wizard that is technology casts inventions faster than corporations can respond, and there are far more questions than answers; basic questions like what is virtual reality, is 360 video really #VR, or mixed reality, what is that?  What kind of content will cross over from enthusiastic gamers to the masses?  Will it be news, entertainment, enterprise applications that drive demand?  What are the ethical questions we know of and how do we prepare for the ones that will come up? Who should be in the room thinking about these questions?  Developing products? Commercializing?

“Let me just lay down for a minute …”

It’s enough to make anyone avoid topic, dismiss the immersive tech trends and concentrate on clicks through rates; though as the media giants know well, there are no easy answers there either.

This article by @HughLangley on Wearable.com, titled, “Everyone is trying to decide the rules of VR & AR, because it’s a big mess,” is dead on.  Mess might be a strong word, given, it’s not intentional but merely a function of monstrous evolution of new technology.  But he speaks well about the struggle, and attempts by many including, the IEEE,  The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers,  and CTA, the Consumer Technological Association, to take the first step.

It boils down to the first step. And  executives might think about that as they build teams or look at internal teams grappling with the future.   New challenges, call for new thinking.  Not new as in, radical, but new as the makeup of the people tackling the questions.

We know this.  With each new evolution, from books to radio, to network television, to cable television. Two basic things have happened:  1. Someone had an idea, then it was eventually executed and 2.  That new something drew a cross section of people who had little, if any direct experience because inherently no one could of since there was previously no product and no market.

The iconic Bill S. Paley, founder of the CBS network, as the story goes, started in the family cigar business and ended up in network television in a quest for advertising distribution.  Or take, Geraldine Laybourne, who started as a teacher and went on to built Nickelodeon into what we know today and co-found Oxygen television, selling to NBC Universal.

There are endless examples for a simple point. Digital consumption is today, it is the future. Immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality are also the future, though we have little data to know for sure what it will look like in five, ten or twenty years.  If history is any guide, the people who drive discernible change are unlikely to be the usual suspects.

We are at a point in time where keeping an open mind will in hindsight look like a brilliant strategy. That is to say, look at people who have successful track records in tech, or film or digital and then something else, perhaps in education or journalism or art, then keep looking, perhaps they are stage set designers or carpenters and so on who have a great interest in these emerging immersive technologies. The wider the aperture of each individual involved, the more profound the collective will be in seeing new possibilities.  

I am betting a lot on this.  The “unconventional” team will win and they will win big.