Digital technologies of the future!
As you might know, Google I/O 2016 started on the 18th of May. Being one of the biggest tech companies in the world, a lot is expected from Google and so far I've heard nothing but great proposals.
In this blog I'll mostly focus on MR (Mixed Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) tech. HTC launched the HTC Vive on the 5th of April 2016. HTC Vive is a VR setup for the size of a whole room. It is quite extraordinary and surprising compared to my initial understanding of VR in general.
As per all new technologies, it takes time for them to show their true power. VR in it's current state today is nothing compared to what it will most likely be in the next decade, a lot more compact and limitless. With that said, ideas raised in this blog are no more than concepts which may become realities in the future.
When I first heard about VR a few years ago I didn't really understand its power and really, I don't right now seeing as I've yet to get my hands on a headset. To me, the concept was merely an attached display to your head making the experience closer and isolated from your physical surroundings. Then, I started seeing the human user becoming the controller and that began to open my eyes towards the technology.
At this point in time, the HTC Vive costs £689 ($1000) which is quite expensive in my opinion, but it is new technology and the waters are uncharted so there's a lot of exploring to do. You end up buying the gear. Now you have to worry about the space to set the thing up, which in my case is impossible as I've barely any room to move around in my flat as it is. So there are a few limitations already, but we've only just begun the journey of digitalised realities. Something I've yet to gather is the durability of the equipment itself, how long should I expect my new £700 gear to last? The headset itself uses OLED as opposed to LED, which is known to be a lot more durable and generates close to no heat which makes it comfortable and safer for the user to interact with at such close distances.
In years to come I expect the gear to be no more than a headset and possibly a bracelet or two which renders it seamless to the user. With that I expect to see some good and bad outcomes. My prediction is that wearing a headset in public will become the norm soon after its advancement. Furthermore, wearing the headset in public will be advertised as a means of entertaining yourself "to make those long commute times fly by". As it currently stands, there's a major problem in the world with people being overly attached to their mobile phones, and speaking from a similar experience it does create a barrier from the real world. Where people used to socialise on the tube, people will instead use their headsets to kill time.
Last year Microsoft announced their HoloLens MR headset which captures the view of the wearer and renders objects on top of real world analysed objects based on all the given variables. Unlike VR, the MR HoloLens doesn't actually completely block your vision, but it is important to keep in mind they are both very different technologies and the only thing they have in common is being a wearable headset that renders digitalised data to the wearer. I personally think MR will become a lot more fitting for portable usability as opposed to VR as the MR consumer may consider wearing the headset at all times as yet another accessory to leave the house with.
To go back to Google I/O 2016, I haven't followed the entire event online, but I've read some headlines and watched some videos. In the MR department I saw some cool things such as true real-time tracking which The Android Wear 2.0 has really caught my eye. There are quite a few Google watches, but the average price range is around £220-£300 ($320-$440).
Me personally, I don't see myself buying a smartwatch for a while as my use for them is non-existent. However, I can see them being extremely useful for people who are active and move around a lot more often than I do, or who just have full hands. For example, a delivery guy, a chef, and hopefully no one driving any vehicles :head_bandage:.
Digital headsets are a pretty neat idea, but as mentioned before they can be quite needy when it comes to the space it requires and the usability. My one immediate thought regarding this is, if smartwatches begin to become a necessity, then we might see the smartwatch become a major player when it comes to headset usage as the smartwatch will be on the person at all times.
The marketing possibilities are pretty much endless. You will also have companies selling their set of digital technologies: A watch, a phone, and a headset all for the price of £999. People will buy in because it'll be the convenient option. Hopefully then we can actually have a lot more compatible software writing. One can hope.
It is important to note that in our day and age new technology practically runs off each other. You have the new Android Wear which uses Android, but so does the already existing Android smartphones. New tech shapes in the form of existing ones in one way or another in order to reach out to all their targeted consumers and ensure a working product.
What do you think about headsets and the golden future they will uncover?
TL;DR: smartwatches and digital headsets being the norm in a decade?