[FoRK] Annihilation from within...

Jeff Bone < jbone at place.org > on > Thu Dec 7 11:38:29 PST 2006

On Dec 7, 2006, at 11:17 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

>> proprioceptive localization inputs, ambient noise, and possibly extra
>> artificial visual inputs in various directions.  But none of that's
>> revolutionary.  The integrative capability --- by which I mean the
>> hardware and software to process all that --- is more challenging
>> than any one of those things...
>
> We've been waiting for VR since mid-80s, and we still don't have it.
> Wearables are still not there. Sometimes, things one thinks are solved
> take forever in reality.

That was sort of my point in the e-mail re: adoption.  There are  
*reasons* why some things are effectively solved forever without mass  
adoption / deployment, while other apparently-harder things get  
solved and rolled out quickly.

In the case of VR I expect that there's a critical mass / tipping  
point function.  Games alone weren't interesting enough --- but now  
that you've got the pure-soc environments (2L) you're seeing more  
popular uptake.

I think "augmented reality" or "convolved reality" has a lot more  
practical applications of immediate (and immediately-obvious)  
commercial value than e.g. VR;  the non-technical obstacles to its  
"diffusion" aren't going to be as significant.  (Think of the various  
practical applications of something as simple as domain-specific,  
context-aware remembrance agents in a simple eyeglasses HUD...)

I think the key things that have been holding up aug-R, wearables  
etc. have to date been (a) lack of decent input devices, (b) lack of  
cheap display eyewear.  Possibly also (c) lack of really decent  
battery capacity / per-unit-mass compute ability.  (c) is fully  
solved and diffused at this point;  (b) is solved, commercialized,  
and rolling out now, and portable video via e.g. iPods is the driver  
(cf. iCuity;  we'll see megapixel by end of year next year, that's my  
bet...)

To solve (a) is a tougher problem, but even the rudimentary level of  
control-device brain-chi that we're discussing would be sufficient to  
drive really interesting applications.  You sure aren't going to see  
wearable tech in the mainstream if it means folks have to learn to  
use twiddlers. ;-) :-)

$0.02,

jb


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