Monday, March 2, 2009

Imagine The Intelligence Issues In THIS Technical Environment... (Microsoft via KZero)

Microsoft has just released (and KZero has compiled) a series of videos that imagines a largely visual, computer augmented version of reality as the future of work (See below for the "montage" video from the series). This vision is an outgrowth of another concept, ubiquitous computing, that has been around for some time now.

Critical to the implementation of this vision are a few key technologies. 4G wireless is the most obvious one, in my mind. Without high speed wireless data pipes, none of this visual, interactive stuff gets off the ground. Don't get me wrong, its coming (WiMax and LTE look to be the most obvious candidates for bringing it to us), but it won't be everywhere overnight and it won't be cheap at first.

Another critical technology is batteries. Battery power improvements have not been able to keep up with improvements in processing power. Even if the batteries have the power, they also have to be light so they can work in the mobile devices in these videos.

The display technology is well on its way already. The clunky head-mounted display in the future of manufacturing video in this series are likely to soon be replaced by something like the Vuzix Wrap 920AV (coming out in the fall).

<a href="" target="_new" title="Future Vision Montage">Video: Future Vision Montage</a>None of this technology is that far off, either. Likewise, the intelligence challenges inherent in even one of these technological changes are obviously immense. I have started to ask myself -- almost daily -- "What am I doing to prepare my students for this type of environment?"

(Side Note: I have been playing around with the new Wikipedia feature that allows you to create a "book" out of select Wikipedia articles. To demonstrate this capability, I have taken all of the Wikipedia articles referenced in this post and compiled them into a single "supplement" to this post. You can download this supplement from Wikipedia or directly in PDF format. You can even get the supplement printed, bound and sent to you. The function can work with any MediaWiki product. Very, very cool!)


TCHe said...

Cool. I'm just a sucker for all things digital. Though I rather expect Apple to come up with it ;)

Also thanks for the note regarding the book feature. I usually jump right into the articles that interest me and I didn't notice that yet.

Anonymous said...

I agree about TCHe's Apple comment. If Microsoft really made all of those things, we'd spent half our day trying to Ctrl - Alt - Delete :)

This is VERY neat, regardless. And what are you doing to prepare your students? I think the first answer to that would be something you already do - encourage them to think outside the box and try new technologies. Your blog and the fact that you Twitter are great examples.

Most importantly, it's important to stay ahead of the curve. I already feel behind, even though I'm a tech geek myself. My brother's age group (he's a senior in high school) seems to be very familiar with graphic design platforms and writing code.

I can't imagine how fast things will change in the next few years!

Kristan J. Wheaton said...

Jess, TCHe,

Thanks for the comments. One of the issues that I keep coming back to is the increasing meaninglessness of borders. Imagine an augmented reality environment that was so real that anyone could be functionally anywhere at any time. What would a cyber customs unit look like?


Anonymous said...

Kris - You come up with some of the neatest stuff!

As to Intel...another reasons to become most profeicient at mining open sources.

As to Jessica's, "What are we doing to prepare our students?" I am more worried about whether or not they have the platforms or bandwidth to use such opportunties. (I teach at AMU with troops all over. Poor seaborne sailors have it the worse.)

Anonymous said...

sorry for not spell checking...