It is a platform with a low friction, grooved base that allows users to walk or run in place. That movement translates directly into any keyboard-compatible game, allowing for an even more natural interface. It can be used with head up displays like the Oculus Rift and motion controllers like the Xbox Kinect to provide a very high level of realism to virtual reality.
There are also health benefits, since you’re not just sitting playing – you actually need to move large muscles to play the game.
As I looked at the capabilities, I couldn’t help but wonder about its application in the business environment. Maybe not for the knowledge worker (although thinking about that may be innovative) but for training and orientation. Let’s say you are a telecom worker who goes in the field and makes adjustments at a communications center – it may help to know what it will look like when you get there.
Recently the Atlantic had an article where they took a McKinsey report on disruptive technologies and turned it upside down to say which ones were the most overhyped. The Atlantic reporter based their analysis on economic impact vs. number of relevant articles.
The technologies were (in order of least impact to most):
- Renewable energy
- Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery
- Advanced materials
- 3D printing
- Energy storage
- Next-generation genomics
- Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles
- Advanced robotics
- Internet of Things
- Automation of knowledge work
- Mobile Internet
This approach by the Atlantic may be a novel way to look at technologies but not all that accurate or effective from a strategic perspective, especially since I doubt that was the intent of the McKinsey article.
I was also a bit surprised by some of the technologies left out of the McKinsey report. Technologies like User Interface Advances were not really mentioned, and the interplay between technologies was just touched on.
The best example of interplay magnifying impact is the intersection of the mobile internet, the internet of things and automation of knowledge work. Where these intersect, the role of employees change – human augmented automation. An approach that takes advantage of the fact that people are not fungible, as opposed to how many business may look at employees.
A visioning document based on the interplay of technologies is likely worth its own report -- aiding IT leaders in thinking about enabling their business in whole new ways. In any case, the McKinsey report is worth the read.
New Scientist has an article and video showing how astronauts can get helping hand from soccer ball robots.
Consumer electronics are the core of these robots as part of the NASA SPHERES project.
The goal here is to have robots take over repetitive or high risk tasks, freeing up the astronauts to work on higher value efforts. We’ll likely see much more down to earth examples of this in business and homes before the end of the decade.
This weekend is the FRC competition at the Irving convention center – it’s free to watch.
Earlier this year I mentioned that the FIRST Robotics Competition released their contest problem for 2013 and I judged the FRC competition in Lubbock. I’ll see if I can get some pictures today, since this is the only one I took yesterday worth sharing.
I had a chance to talk with the teams from Brazil, Mexico and a number of states across the US yesterday, as well as an HP sponsored team from the Houston area.
A friend of mine sent me a paper off a NASA site titled - Utility Fog: A Universal Physical Substance. This article is really a thought experiment about using tiny robots to create a support environment making life easier...