AWE: Introducing the Augmented World Expo


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Dan_Fig4.jpgSo when we talk about XR, remember that this includes virtual reality (totally virtual world), augmented reality (inserting a virtual world into and overlaying real world reality), and mixed reality (which is a combination of these as well as other real or fictional universes). All are now falling into the XR term. XR can be walking through a 3D re-creation of ancient Rome, it can be used to play the next generation of Pokémon Go searching for a virtual being in the live world, or it can be using a holographic image and remote control of robotic surgical equipment, perhaps connected by a different megatrend—the upcoming 5G—to eliminate lag and allow a surgeon in one part of the world to operate with great precision on a patient half a world away.

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It can be used to control a military weapon on the attack from a focused control center or it can be used to direct a troubleshooting session directed by a leading expert on the device or system needing repair or calibration, even though that expert is far away. 

Dan_Fig2.jpgFor those of you who have watched the ‘90s sci-fi favorite “Star Trek, Next Generation,” you know the vision of what is possible: the Holodeck. The Holodeck was a prediction of what could be accomplished in the next 200 years. In fact, in less than 30 years some of the basic technology pictured, such as advanced computing power, has already been eclipsed. I predict that the Holodeck will exist and that it will not take anywhere near another 150 years; in fact, some of it is happening now.

Over the next week we will cover some of the presentations, demonstrations, amazing new product and idea announcements, as well as actual demonstrations we saw at AWE. We will look into the rapidly approaching future as seen at perhaps the most visionary and awe-inspiring event I have attended in my over-half-a-century involvement in the high-tech industry. The AWE event not only focuses on XR it seems to be a hub that ties together many of the upcoming megatrends and rapidly advancing technology that will be commonplace in the mid-21st century.

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