Where is Technology Going?

Apple just introduced Apple Vision Pro, and it’s as revolutionary as anything we’ve ever seen. In short, it’s a set of goggles that can immerse you in a totally new environment, and it makes Apple’s innovations like the mouse, click wheel (iPod,) and multi-touch (iPhone) seem primitive by comparison. See for yourself how immersive it is, and then step back into reality. Will technology be a tool or a controlling force?

The technical term for Apple’s new technology is spatial computing, and their promotional video will give you a sensual rush. The technology behind the mouse, iPod, and iPhone changed how we looked at computing and forced other technology companies to step up their games, too. In our eyes, Apple has upped the ante again with a quantum leap in technology that will open unimaginable vistas to the public – once we get over the $3,499 price tag and once the price drops.

So what, in essence, is spatial computing? In this case, using Apple Vision goggles and technology enables you to use your eyes, hands and even thoughts to create a screen in front of you that’s as big as you want it to be (larger than life, if you like) and open and use apps as you would from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer.

While that might be great for editing photos or videos or really zooming in on a map or satellite view of a place you’re going to visit, just think of what it would be like to watch a movie or sporting event in your kitchen or on an airplane. It can become a totally immersive experience. Likewise, think of what it can do for teams of surgeons or infrastructure repair technicians who need the same detailed visual information to complete delicate tasks in tight places. They can take this technology right to where they’re working.

One of the features that separates Apple Vision from VR (virtual reality) goggles is that you’ll still be able to see the space you physically inhabit, such as the room you’re in, and people will be able to see you. That helps for collaborative efforts professionally, and it doesn’t seem as isolating on a personal level.

However, it’s yet another move away from face-to-face human interaction, and that’s what’s bothering us. We already sit in rooms together, each of us busy with our cell phones. If we’re talking about something, at least one of us is consulting the internet to answer a question, provide more information, or order a pizza for delivery. The smartphone is an extension of each of us.

Where will it go with Apple Vision? Will we sit in the same room – and even look at the same things – but still be in our own little VR cocoons? Will we sit in conference rooms and look at the same presentation through our own set of goggles? That will totally defeat the benefits of eye contact and body language in learning some fine points that go into the decision-making process.

We know that’s taking an extreme view, but technology seems to remove more and more human interaction from every transaction. How often have you called a business’s customer service department and gone through exasperating menus before getting a human being to help you solve a problem in a few short minutes? More automation, it seems, makes our experiences more complicated and time-consuming.

Personally, I don’t like where we’re heading with technology. AI and chats don’t do it for me. We still need human interaction. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.

Death of the Smartphone?

While we all wait for the next versions of iPhones and Galaxies, are they “dead men walking?” Technology changes – fast. Where could the smartphone go?

To use an analogy for most of you, it could go the way of the VCR. That technology is commercially dead, but its function lives on through DVR capabilities, and it’s more robust than ever by allowing you to record multiple programs and play them back on any TV that’s part of your in-home cable setup or any device that’s connected to your TV provider’s app.

The iPhone, the world’s first smartphone, is 10 years old. In dog years, that’s well into senior citizenry. In tech years, it’s older than dirt. In its time, it revolutionized how we interface with the world. Besides being a telephone, it’s a handheld computer and an ever-improving still/video camera that gets better only because engineers in a competitive market find new tweaks.

Smartphones have crossed several major thresholds in the way we live:

  • We can communicate by voice, text message or email with anyone at any time.
  • We can search for and buy almost any product imaginable from any place in the world that has an internet connection (make sure it’s secure).
  • We can buy tickets for a local theater production or an around-the-world trip.
  • With ability to broadcast videos over social media, we have changed forever the ways in which government agencies and businesses deal with us a citizens or customers.

What’s next? We have some glimpses, and here are some thoughts – in no particular order.

  • Wearables: They come in all forms, sizes and shapes, and I could foresee parts of smartphones in all of them. For example, you could have a telephone in a headset or small earpiece, and that could connect to eyeglasses and/or a wristwatch. We have a lot of the individual pieces now, and Bluetooth to connect them. In the short term, we can refine them to make them easy for the masses to use and make them as affordable as a smartphone.
  • Augmented Reality: This can create safety issues while driving or walking, but AR tied to your glasses can replace the smartphone screen. You’ll be able to read documents or view pictures and videos with part of your visual field – and it could be made adjustable depending on where you are and what you’re doing. You might use it for Google Maps walking directions, and maybe your AR glasses could project a heads-up display on your windshield for driving directions.
  • Artificial Intelligence: When combined with a wearable, it might ask you questions based on your activity – like “do you want directions to the supermarket?” – and automatically connect you to an app to get you there. It might ask you if you want to count steps and take your pulse or blood pressure.

Some futurists think our species will become cyborg-like over the years, combining our humanity with biomechanical advances to improve our motor skills. Add in AI, and we could just become “walking smartphones.” Speculation aside, technology always advances to help us do things better and develop new ways of doing things. It’s the way of the world, and it happens faster than we can usually imagine.

As you adapt new technologies for your everyday life, we can help you integrate them across all platforms and help you look at how new developments can affect the way you live, work and play. Always feel free to contact us by phone – 973-433-6676 – or email for assistance or answers to your questions.