This Technology Review blog entry describes a "enhanced vision system" from General Motors that can highlighting landmarks, obstacles and road edges on the windshield in real-time. The video in the entry also talks about integrating with GPS systems, to clearly mark desired locations. By using a variety of sensors, various hazards and points of interest can also be shown.
"The merger between reality and computer displays is becoming more prevalent and transparent. There were a few good entries on this topic in 2009, and I expect it to increase radically in the mobile computing space. This is one significant way of overcoming information overload issues with the massive amount of data being collected."
"To turn the entire windshield into a transparent display, GM uses a special type of glass coated with red-emitting and blue-emitting phosphors--a clear synthetic material that glows when it is excited by ultraviolet light. "
Looks like this particular technology is a way off since the articles says it will not be part of a production car until 2018 at the earliest.
One of the other items described in the video was the use of eye-tracking to achieve an effective virtual interface. They are getting more information than just how to align the graphics, since eye-tracking adds a new dimension to the interaction with the computer, allowing it to fade into the environment - when done correctly. The eye-tracking can see how effective the virtual display is at attracting attention and aid with attention management for the driver.
I've heard this phrase a few times over the past months as a way of putting how long people are going to be living in context. Now that I am 50, 60 doesn't seem so far away so it's a good thing we're moving the signposts and shifting our perspectives. When I was growing up, 60 was old, now it seems like it's when some people get their second wind and seeing their children get awards that they received (like Kirk Douglas).
When we think about the implications of the demographic shift there is the perspective of a "grey revolution", as this powerful demographic begins to exert it's purchasing power in areas like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, education, robotics, advertisement and really across the board.
"By the year 2020, close to 50% of Europe's adult population will be aged 50 or over".
Although there is talk about "fixed income" and inflation forcing people to limiting spending, one thing that's true is they will have more discretionary time available -- even though it may not seem that way based on how busy my wife's parents seem to be.
For IT organizations this is a rich area for analytics to enable businesses to define new approaches and markets. These techniques can help organizations become more proactive and help shape their future. Even with the world changing, there will be constants like the desire for convenience, simplicity with low cost and high quality.
IT organizations can also look internally at the changing HR needs with the company, ensuring that all that knowledge from the people who helped create the industry does not walk out the door at the end of a career. That's where collaboration and knowledge capture techniques become important. Many people assume that the replacement workers will be more productive, without a significant knowledge network and foundation may not be the case. Now that more people are working in a wider variety of locations, the collaboration and access to a corporate knowledge store will need to take place from mobile devices as well as the traditional desktop. After all , it does no good to have the best repository of information in the world if you can't get at it when you need it.
This is an area ripe for IT innovation.
Intel is inviting the public to come to ScienceSim (a virtual world) and discover its possibilities for building collaborative visualization tools... "Within ScienceSim's world you'll find some starting buildings, templates for forums and conference centers and the like." But then it is up to the user to take it from there.
"ScienceSim provides the basic building blocks (client viewers, installation utilities, management tools, etc.), and new technologies that enable broader interoperability through content sharing. Interested people can quickly bring up their own worlds on their own systems and experiment with creating 3D worlds of their own." What's interesting about this project is the amount of open source used and yet the compatibility with Second Life.
There are a number of us in EDS who've been experimenting with virtual worlds for a long time. In fact, EDS started a virtual reality center in Detroit back in the mid 1990s.
With all the travel restrictions, green issues..., telepresence and virtual meeting techniques are definitely being looked at more seriously. I've often wondered though if a 3D meeting environment would have any real advantages over the NetMeeting and more capable 2D meeting tools that have been around for over a decade. I've thought of a few meeting types where physical movement was a requirement to effectively moderate the meeting, and a 3D environment would be significantly more effective. If you've ever been to a Microsoft Open Meeting format where they've used the "fishbowl" meeting style you probably know what I mean.
We've also talked about some multi-person 3D mind mapping applications... but have never found a meeting style that could only be done in a 3D world. Do you have any?
The U.S. lags behind the Asian car manufacturers in hybrid and electric car batteries, but now the Argonne National Laboratory is leading a consortium of fourteen manufacturers to seek funding for a $1 to $2 billion "open foundry" to conduct research and manufacturing of new battery technology. The Chevy Volt will use similar batteries, possibly from A123 Systems, that uses lithium ion technology. Lithium ion batteries have much faster charge rates with less heat build up, with higher safety than lithium polymer batteries, but with a tradeoff in energy density and weight.
This looks like the kind of technology investment the new administration is looking for: jobs creation, forward looking and growth oriented.