The Next Major Tech Convergence: Virtual, Augmented Reality
Posted by TechInMotion
With so many developments in virtual reality this year, many of us are excited about a coming boom in 2016. I am too — but I am less focused on VR mobile apps or the endless cool hardware and gadgets appearing daily on my screen (though I admit to finding them very enticing.) I am most excited about what these advancements mean for us when everything comes together.
I believe we are on the verge of a major new technical convergence where augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will change our world as dramatically as the emergence of smartphones did.
Phillipe Lewicki talks at the Tech in Motion 50K Celebration in Los Angeles, above.
The last time we saw this happen was in 2007. A well-timed merging of cellular technology, capacitive screens and UI design — mixed by the legendary Steve Jobs — set the stage for a world craving things like mobile apps and image sharing.
We love all this technology, but it stresses us out. These machines are here to increase our productivity, entertain us and improve our social connections; however, our laptops and phones are cumbersome and not designed for our human bodies. Relying heavily on these physical machines dampens our capacity to connect with others and discourages us from participating in activities where we move around.
This can be resolved. We are in the process of better integrating the machines in our lives. With this next major conflux, we will be connected to our devices in an intuitive way. These physical limitations will begin to disappear.
A combination of factors makes this possible. First, after enduring decades of false promises, we are finally seeing AI deliver results, thanks to new learning machines and neural network technologies. Programs like Siri and Google Now show how our voice can command actions on our screen, and the last few years have proven that they only get smarter.
Add to this the Internet of Things, which emphasizes how the Internet is beginning to transcend our phones and laptops to operate within our watches, glasses, audio speakers and thermostats. These devices are connected and responsive.
Integrate the concept of mixed realities and you can begin to see the possibilities.
In our weekly labs at HTML Fusion, we focus on how this future will look and feel. Our visit to Microsoft’s HoloLens Academy gave us a peek into what was possible. We continue to learn more and more about manipulating augmented reality spaces as we spend our weeks teaching machines to respond to our movements and desires.
We call this work the Holo UI. It is our platform for exploring how we control augmented reality, and it’s a small window into the converging future. You can consider it a seed.
This is a tool for a much more immersive experience. Our machines are integrating into our physical world, learning to interact with us naturally. Our cell phones, laptop, and desktop computers will slowly disappear and be replaced by more human-like interactions. We can still be productive and connected without staring at the screen.
Humans were designed to be moving, not stuck behind a screen and keyboard. This convergence will let us move again.
I am excited to work with my team, and a growing community of inspired entrepreneurs, to actively create this future and the way we use these machines — and make the impossible possible. This convergence is happening now, so the time has come for us to define how we will interact with technology, the Internet and each other. Now is our a chance to make this technology more human.
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About the Author
Philippe Lewicki, Captain at HTMLFusion
HTMLFusion is a Culver City-based team of veteran developers working with mixed reality environments and creating successful businesses with entrepreneurs who have great ideas. Most recently, they were invited to the HoloLens Academy to share and explore their augmented reality work.
Their current project is a user-friendly virtual reality platform for real estate called OpenHouse VR.