Robots On Our Streets

Robots on Our Streets (and Everywhere Else)

The development of self-driving vehicles is progressing at a steady pace. It’s only a matter of time before seeing a human drive a vehicle on public roads will be akin to seeing a horse and carriage on a motorway. Even if introduced globally right now while still in development, self-driving technology would drastically reduce fatalities.

Unfortunately, today’s society would only accept this technology if it is perfect. That’s because it is “understandable” that crazed primates may kill other beings because of recklessness and inattention, but it certainly won’t be tolerable for a computer to make a mistake, even if it would happen a thousand times less often – and most likely due to freak coincidences rather than the machine actually making a mistake. But society will evolve. Self-driving is here to stay and like it or not, primates will soon be relegated to driving on the race track or some other place where the potential of threatening life is lower.

And while self-driving is currently one of the most debated topics, we should really be talking about self-piloting, which is a more generic term. It covers more of what will actually happen: all machinery will soon be able to pilot itself. So how would worldwide fleet of interconnected self-piloting machinery change life on Earth?

Kitchen 3.0

Kitchen 3.0

The age of interconnected devices and gadgets is slowly dawning. This category of communications-capable electronics has been labeled “the Internet of Things” – somewhat of a misnomer now-a-days when it is obvious that the security threat of any machine reachable from the Internet is enormous. Perhaps quantum cryptography will one day address this issue. Until then, home owners will probably be safer by using offline “smart home controllers” with manually-upgradeable firmware in what will be an Intranet of Things.

Irrespective of the name, this new wave of electronics is still barely in its infancy. Any company worth its salt has to prepare for how business will change in the coming decades. And there’s nothing more disruptive than what is basically the rise of the first mainstream generation of highly task-optimized robots. Indeed, a smart refrigerator is basically a robot focused on a certain task.

While the first robots accessible to everybody will still function very much like our current appliances, their smarts will open up a myriad opportunities for ground-breaking innovation.

Productivity in the Age of Mixed Reality

Productivity in the Age of Mixed Reality

In the past few years we’ve witnessed the launch of more than a dozen HMDs (Head Mounted Displays). Several of them are already available in large numbers. HMDs focused on entertainment (Oculus, Vive) rely on taking over visual perception completely via Virtual Reality. HMDs focused on productivity (HoloLens) mix real life with computer generated imagery drawn upon a transparent display. There are other combinations and means of mixing visual information, so all of this technology has recently been put under the umbrella term Mixed Reality.

Here are some of the things that may be accomplished in the future (productivity-wise) using Mixed Reality