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Google IO

Ajit Deshpande - - 0 Comments

For those interested in ‘out there’ technologies, the Google I/O developers’ conference held last week was not a disappointment at all – at the conference, Google introduced mankind’s latest step towards Singularity. A lightweight, lens-and-camera totting pair of glasses that overlays an information layer literally in front of our eyes holds interesting possibilities for the future of artificial intelligence.

Significant (maybe orders of magnitude) enhancement in information access clearly is a key building block for super-intelligence – we currently use our five senses of touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste for all of this information access. Google Glass currently represents a tool to enhance our ability to view the world around us, and it may not be too insane to expect a modification of the device to include audio overlays as well. Similarly, maybe longer term developments would be to have devices that capture, amplify, simulate and analyze odorants that drive our sense of smell, chemicals that translate into taste, and force signals that translate into our feeling of touch. A few years towards these and we will have a solid platform to help us drive towards truly augmented reality!

So what might inhibit the drive towards augmented reality? In the context of Gartner’s Hype Cycle, we may be currently early on in our climb towards the peak of inflated expectations… Multiple challenges and to-do’s exist, including:

  • Potential FDA approval needs
  • Usability related modifications, which may need additional developments in miniaturization, power management, connectivity etc
  • Applications on top of the platform that trigger needs and enable mainstream adoption

Until about a year ago, analysts were projecting that augmented reality glasses were five years away, and even so the projections for the broader augmented and virtual reality market at the time were in the $1.5 billion range by 2015. Will Google Glass accelerate this trend and make this a larger, faster growing, mainstream market much before that? Let’s see…

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