"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke
There are at least two technologies that I find captivating as we move into the next decade or two. One is IoT and wondering what is possible when virtually every physical object will have a chip that connects it to the world. Second is Augmented Reality. The two are connected.
Two weeks ago, Magic Leap announced yet another round of massive funding. What have these investors seen that we have not? I'm guessing it's pretty spectacular. I'm also pretty sure that it's a few years away from mass commercialization. I can't get the video of the whale out of my mind. The one jumping out of the gymnasium as the group of students gasps in amazement. I'm calling bullshit on this one, but you got to have a vision of where you want to go. There are other Magic Leap demos that claim to be shot through the actual projection system they use. They're impressive.
It seems like a natural evolution of where personal computing platforms will go and the display technologies are not complete science fiction. I want to learn more about what's possible.
One way of imagining about AR is to read (& re-read) some science fiction on the topic. On the current Airstream walkabout to California, I have 3 books I'm reading.
Deamon and Freedom by Daniel Suarez. It takes awhile to get to the AR part, but it gets there with a vengence. Darknet, biometrics, various projection systems, autonomous vehicles, virtual worlds coexist with physical, wearables, light fields, haptics, distributed systems and the evil Razorback. Fascinating.
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge. An 8 year old book that weaves a good story with computer technology 20 years in the future. It is set in 2025.
And then there are Neil Stephenson's books. He has a new one, Seveneves. He is particularly interesting since he was hired on at Magic Leap a little over a year ago as the Chief Futurist.
It's not only Magic Leap. Apple has been busy buying up tiny AR companies lately including: Matatio, Faceshift, PrimeSense, Flyby Media & several talent hires. Don't leave Microsoft out. They've been developing their own idea of AR with acquisitions like Osterhout and projects like HoloLens.
At some point during every previous walkabout I get obsessive about something. I can't get that whale out of my mind!