Is the future augmented?

For many years now there have been numerous product launches which offer a new take on reality.  Virtual reality is still very niche and very appropriate to gaming however augmented reality has always been the distant cousin with no real user case until now.  As consumer grade technology has improved most new devices possess the power to offer a very good AR experience, just look at Pokemon go.  However, if we look at credible uses for the masses numerous companies are now targeting the consumer and you could completely decorate / refurbish your house if you wanted.  Amazon and Ikea have apps to which preview items for sale and you can view them in the proposed location with a mobile device; even Dulux has created a paint visualiser to enable you to see how rooms could look different with different wall finishes.  Google and Apple are even offering platforms for people to create Apps using AR.

So what about the enterprise?  Usage is certainly not far off especially as tablets are common place in the office so the time to dabble with POV/POCs is nearly here.  Especially if the technology can move from 2D to 3D recognition and new form factor technology like glasses become mainstream.

So where could it be used?  AR overlays digital data onto the real world so anywhere which dangerous is ideal, in the training environment, like the consumer space in Building Design, Refurbishments, Marketing.   How about linking insurance quotes to object placement apps like above?  You can even see it leveraging some of the translation services offered by google or object identification for people with disabilities like Seeing AI from Microsoft.

So get those thinking caps on as when you link AR to AI you have a very powerful proposition.

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Innovation over the last 10 years

For nearly 10 years I have been sharing my technology & Innovation observations through my blog.  To offer a retrospective over this period is not only interesting but can shape where the industry will go in the future and to support this I have compiled a list of the annual 10 technology trends produced by Gartner over this timeline. It is good to keep in your mind that the observations and trends are cutting edge rather than adoptive and most companies will lag a few cycles behind so the immediate future can be gleaned from the last few years and the most up to date trends will not reach consideration for a few years to come.

At the beginning “back in 2007” it was evident that the trend was Infrastructural and encouraged the move from traditional Data Centre hosting models to ones which involved Cloud computing, automation and design that was web enabled with collaboration and mobile in mind.    We then entered a  period which was more transactional (which is where most companies will be now) which exploited the previous advances in technology and saw the evolution of Business Intelligence to Advanced Analytics and visualisation, the use of Big Data and where all development was device agnostic and ready for the web.

gartner-2007-2017

Even though Technology is moving at a tremendous pace I think the next 2 cycles will be extremely exciting.  I think initially we will have another infrastructural period where Cloud Technologies evolve into a hybrid state; we will understand more about how to exploit the data from connected devices and the internet of things including how to store it.  We will see advances in Artificial Intelligence and will start to hear about the first real time distributed ledger platforms being used.    Then comes the interesting stuff; the next period will show that we finally have the right technology in place to start exploiting all these new advances so Distributed Ledger applications will be common place, Augmented and Virtual Reality will come of age and start to become communication channels in their own right.  Machine Learning will also start to become intertwined in everything we do and appear everywhere from your home to your Car and even the workplace.

This last set of observations may seem a long way away however just look how far we have come in the last 10 years and remember Broadband is only just over 15 years old so in ten years anything could be possible.  We all just need to embrace the change and enjoy the ride.