A.I., A.R., V.R. and I.o.T. products in your hands

Escaping from a forced IoT future city
Mozilla Foundation‘s Mark Surman and Michelle Thorne paper called We all live in the computer now should get you thinking. You might’ve noticed you’re connected now, more than ever, even when you’re sleeping, you have an account (on your mobile or desktop devices) that’s communicating with the cloud, sending and/or receiving data.

The change is already happening. We’re not just going to use computers but we’re going to make objects become computing systems. In this article we’re going to cover companies whose sole purpose and focus being on virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things.

Artificial intelligence products

When it comes to artificial intelligence, we tend to think about how much better our human lives will get, how much it will help us travel interplanetary, discover new worlds and evolve as a specie. But we also think about the apocalyptic impact it can have over the world if an A.I. machine/robot would become harmful to us.

Harmful enough that governments would feel the need to insert backdoors into operating systems, to make sure they’re one step ahead this type of scenario and Bill Gates seems to be one of those world tech influences that believes we should be worried about future A.I.

And what most of us are missing out is that part of becoming a true artificial intelligence entity, the machine/robot has to learn, just like an infant’s brain has to. And, according to a survey conducted by Vancouver British Columbia’s Nick Bostrom, human machine learning will start happening by 2040-2050. So, for the moment, I humbly give you some of the most interesting A.I. products so far that are starting to change our consumer lives.

  • Do I have to mention Amazon Echo, Google Home and the others like, products which have already entered successfully into the consumer’s home? Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and Google Assistant?
  • In 2015, a technological world breakthrough happened when three cute Nao robots were given a self awareness test and for the first time in the world, one of them, after careful processing, managed to pass it.
  • Though it can’t be actually be called a product, fast forward to 2016, when Mark Zuckergerg announced finishing his own version of Iron Man-like artificial intelligence assistant called Jarvis: a simple A.I. to help him with indoor common tasks but also with his work.

Augmented reality products

The future will get more crowded. And not because the world will run out of space due to companies competing for your visual attention, now more than ever before. Haven’t seen Hyper Reality, yet? You’re missing out, I tell you.

  • The augmented reality space was owned at some point in 2016 by the Pokemon Go application. Remember when people all around the world started signing petitions to reinstate Pokevision?
  • Google launched in November 2016 its own augmented reality platform, Tango;
  • Baidu (Chinese search engine) announced establishing a 4th augmented reality research lab focusing on introducing augmented reality into their search results.
  • Lumus is “enabling smart wearables makers to create the Augmented Reality of the future.” Its products are transparent displays which improve the augmented reality eyewear experience.
  • ODG (Osterhout Design Group) created augmented reality devices on Android such as the R-8 and R-9 glasses. They’re bringing crucial improvements in the medical, aviation, car industry but also in the entertainment industry.
  • The HoloLamp is described as a “desktop spatial augmented reality projector – a portable device connected to your computer (HDMI & USB) that created 3D images directly on your environment using an optical effect based on projection and eyes tracking, without having to hold or wear any equipment.” 

Virtual reality products

Virtual reality, just like any other cool and fresh technology, is spreading really fast due to its huge impact upon various fields (medical, educational, entertainment). Devices like the popular Facebook’s Oculus VR, Samsung’s Gear VR, Valve’s SteamVR or Microsoft’s Holo Lens allow users to get creative now, more than ever.

  • For example, during a couple of evenings, Hollander artist Yannis Bolman drew a couple of virtual reality awesome art scenes using Oculus VR’s pen called Quill. One of the drawings is called “A garden by the window” and the other one, “Grizzly”.
  • Robert Scoble had done a live tour of HTC Vive at CES 2017 which clearly shows how virtual reality will be an important part of our lives, especially since more and more virtual reality products get to be nausea free and more entertaining.
  • And based on their HTC Vive virtual reality product, HTC launched virtual reality centers called HTC Viveport Arcades. The first locations will be in China and Taiwan and HTC’s goal is to reach more than 1000 centers all over China and Taiwan by 2017.

And let’s not forget Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap’s CEO who said:

“The next few decades will likely see machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) approach, and perhaps surpass, many human intellectual capabilities. Machines may become the dominant centers for intelligence and technical skill on the planet, outpacing people.”

We’re heading towards a boom in domestic control over what you’re hearing when you open the door to your apartment, how does the ambience of the place you’re always at in any given moment behave,  basically to what you’re experiencing on a personal level. Nowadays, everything can be made to listen to us and for us using IoT.

“Why is IoT taking hold now? It did not arise organically.”

“Instead, many institutional actors drove it, in part thanks to the rise of cheap sensors, cheap bandwidth, cheap processing, the proliferation of smartphones, ubiquitous wireless coverage, big data analytics and the availability of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which allows for a vastly greater number of Internet addresses.

Another major factor is the emergence of rapid manufacturing and what O’Reilly Publishing’s Jon Bruner calls the new hardware. Hardware is increasingly becoming like software: easily and cheaply programmed into something new.

This trend is enabling new amateur and commercial actors to participate in the making of connected products and the Internet taking on new physical forms.” (We all live in the computer now)

Internet of Things products

Arduino and Rasberry Pi are the revolutionary type of products that completely changed the IoT domain.

  • FoldiMate is the robot that folds clothes for you.
  • Lego used to be about creating anything using just blocks during my childhood; nowadays, kits like Lego Boost, teach kids from age seven and up, how to build, code and play.
  • Hello egg is your kitchen assistant: it creates grocery lists, orders them, allows you to follow dietes and provides you cooking video support when needed.
  • The Willow pump enables you to breastfeed hands free and read data about it on your mobile device.

I am to understand that the hardware programming part of the electronics surrounding the common consumer, some of it will be handled by the consumer itself. He not only gets the instructions manual on how to use the hardware, he now gets the pieces too. So he can assemble them, get more handy and practical but also program them personally.

If until now, the consumer believed the IT domain only should be handled by geeks, geniuses and high-other-IQ-people, the moment has arrived for him to start analyzing and understanding them. IoT will make people get more acquainted than ever before with the IT space.

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