Expertise as a bridge in time: Shaping the way forward for mind well being by way of right this moment’s innovations-including people who “fail”
Remember Google Glass? Google make investmentsed millions of dollars and got here to market in 2014 with the primary generation of wear and tearready augmented actuality (AR) technology. You might put on their cool headunits with or without glasses and use them to learn and ship e-mail all whereas going about other duties.
Even earlier than it was availin a position to the public, Glass created an enormous quantity of buzz. In 2013, eachone needed to get in on beta testing.
Nearly each keynote converseer I noticed that yr would come out put oning a Google Glass headset—after which invariably admit the battery had run out weeks in the past they usually had been simply put oning it to look cool. I’ve to confess, I did the identical.
Possibly that’s as a result of it made me nostalgic for a product we had designed about ten years earlier, in 2005. Our Visually Integrated Sensor Unit, or VISUnit, was an early version of an AR headset.
Eachone agrees that Google Glass failed when it got here to market, however to me, it’s a symbol of hope. Simply the truth that it obtained to market makes me even prouder of VISUnit, regardless that our journey was fairly a bit different. Glass might have impressed the following generation of AR developers commercially, however our work was likely the primary to demonstrate the feasibility of augmented imaginative and prescient systems within the army.
I’ve talked about how technology ought to allow human capability. It ought to take us from what we will do to what we need to do. In an ideal world, technology bridges capabilities.
Technology can also be a bridge in time.
An invention doesn’t all the time obtain recognition or achieve an immediate consumer base. Nevertheless it captures and documents a second that offers rise to the following generation of creators.
The world of technology doesn’t all the time suppose this fashion. People argue over who invented somefactor first. Patents are a method to put a stake within the floor, however that’s all they’re. Simply since you patent somefactor doesn’t imply it will likely be a viable product. Though timing is probably one of the critical factors within the success of technology, it’s impossible to predict or management.
What’s interesting with Google Glass is that they probably suspected the timing was flawed, however they tried anyway.
Delivering a tech product to market successfully requires a candy spot within the Venn diagram overlap of customer want, technology maturity, and market readiness.
In the event you consider the inventions disstubborn in previous chapters, you’ll be able to see why market success is nearly all the time an extended shot. Within the case of CosmoBot, regardless of the excessive want for innovative, interactive educational technologies for youths with disabilities, the technology was not mature. Consumers weren’t able to pay the worth. So we switched gears and developed Cosmo’s Be taughting System to hit the candy spot of want, tech maturity, and market.
However that Venn diagram, pictured on the chapter startning, isn’t static. It’s constantly changing. Within the case of CLS, the technology and therefore the market modified regardless that the necessity didn’t. Because the iPad and other pill computers grew to become the norm, the tablets drove and altered the necessity—regardless that their use was not initially backed by science.
The AcceleGlove flaunted a similar model to Google Glass. We put innovative technology out into the world with some demos and a developer’s equipment and let the market create the necessity. As with Google Glass, the product didn’t make it very far. However each grew to become catalysts for change, albeit on different scales. The AcceleGlove bridged our concepts for gestural interfaces to applications developed by those that purchased the equipment or noticed a demo. Google Glass gave hundreds of innovators an opportunity to experience the potential of augmented actuality.
Each inventions set the stage for killer apps and compelling use cases. Within the case of gestural interfaces, Nintendo and Microsoft later made gestural interfaces the norm for video gaming, with Wii and Kinect. Simply as Oculus and Hololens at the moment are making similar inroads for VR/AR. And technology does come again round. Microsoft latestly received a $22 billion contract from the military to develop the Integrated Visual Augmalestation System, which is an AR system for soldiers’ decision making.
On the consumer aspect, the truth that Google Glass existed was sufficient. It impressed people to suppose past traditional methods of moving about our environment. As an alternative of looking down at a tool, we might look out on the world and have an overlay of digital information. It was one of many first steps in bodily–digital convergence that we’re seeing right this moment by way ofout many industries. And as someone who has created many inventions that never left the lab or had been too early for the market, I really like the truth that Glass got here out at all!
Faceebook, Ray-Ban, and Snap have launched sensible glasses, which contain embedded cameras. The companies are wagerting that focusing on the shape factor of cool shades and the convenience of having the ability to take a photo fastly and easily, whereas not minimizeting edge, might in reality be the killer app that ultimately breaks the consumer market open.
Time will inform.
– Dr. Corinna (Cori) Lathan is a technology entrepreneur who has developed robots for youths with disabilities, virtual actuality technology for the area station, and put onready sensors for practiceing surgeons and soldiers. Above is an adapted excerpt from her new ebook, Inventing the Future: Stories from a Techno-Optimist (Lioncrest Publishing; 2022), which explores the various possibilities of tomorrow by way of Cori’s twenty-year journey inventing on the fringe of technology and human efficiency.