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Flying humans, powered by collaboration

April 19, 2009 11 Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Amazing 3D immersion technology from IDEO Labs on Vimeo.

Whatever your fantasy, the iCube’s 3D immersion technology shows that a breathtaking simulation isn’t far way. It’s the result of a powerful collaboration between IDEO and EON Reality with serious implications for business and recreation.

The technology is deceptively simple. You wear polarized 3-D glasses (just like in the cinema) with small markers that stick out from the frames to tell infrared cameras the precise position of your eyes. From those positions, stereo images for each projector are calculated and rendered in real time to amazing effect.

Like any technology, it won’t be before there’s a version in our homes that costs less with greater sophistication. Instead of arcade rooms in the homes of the rich and famous, we’ll have immersion cubes where we play inside video games, travel overseas without packing, and test drive products as many times as we want. It simply requires three blank walls, a little equipment and almost no training.

How could a real world sales pitch compete with such a fully immersive experience? Not only does it bring a product and brand to life in a visceral way that wasn’t possible before, but the very sales experience has a halo effect on the product. Maybe, one day soon, the “try” will be even more exciting than the “buy”?

What implications does it have for bricks and mortar stores when product immersions take place right in your home? Perhaps accompanied by a virtual sales assistant that can execute the transaction then and there? What about the travel industry, airlines and cruise ships? What percentage of shopping would become virtually (sorry) unnecessary? And what cost will we incur in terms of our needs for direct human contact in our lives? Or if not us, then for the next generation that grows up knowing little else?

The power of technology can be equally inspiring and sobering. Part of the wonder of flying is its impossibility. Its simulation comes at a hefty price if it ushers in an age where technology claims even more of our human contact. In a world of virtual Second Life, Facebook friends and Twitter conversations, there’s something to be said for the minimum level of human contact to generate empathy, compassion and concern for each other. One needs only to look at how technology has increasingly dehumanized war and its effects on veterans, or rehab centers for teenage video game addicts around the globe, to know that a life overrun by simulation is often less worth living. As with all things, it’s a balance. One, I suspect, we may find, yet again, by overstepping.

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11 responses to “Flying humans, powered by collaboration”

  1. Tim Scullin says:

    This is very cool! Nice clean blog layout too! I like!

  2. Tim Scullin says:

    This is very cool! Nice clean blog layout too! I like!

  3. admin says:

    Good to meet you, Nick. Let’s keep chatting about cool technology out there and try to stay human at the same time. Thanks for the support.

  4. admin says:

    Good to meet you, Nick. Let’s keep chatting about cool technology out there and try to stay human at the same time. Thanks for the support.

  5. […] This post was Twitted by cecilledesma – Real-url.org […]

  6. admin says:

    Thanks for the Ping Cecille. Glad you enjoyed it.

  7. admin says:

    Thanks for the Ping Cecille. Glad you enjoyed it.

  8. @todayinart says:

    This is awesome! I would love to see an artist take advantage of this technology for some type of installation.

  9. @todayinart says:

    This is awesome! I would love to see an artist take advantage of this technology for some type of installation.

  10. admin says:

    Agree. An artist could create an amazing immersion piece where the viewer literally walks through the piece. I believe there’s a video artist in Portland that has viewers walk through multiple screens as people on either side exchange dialogue. The viewer becomes part of their conversation and the story that unfolds. Can’t remember his name. Also imagine immersive art pieces everyone can simply download at home to experience. Democratizing art. Nice to chat.

  11. admin says:

    Agree. An artist could create an amazing immersion piece where the viewer literally walks through the piece. I believe there’s a video artist in Portland that has viewers walk through multiple screens as people on either side exchange dialogue. The viewer becomes part of their conversation and the story that unfolds. Can’t remember his name. Also imagine immersive art pieces everyone can simply download at home to experience. Democratizing art. Nice to chat.

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Simon Mainwaring

Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.

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