From Augmented Reality to Information Transparency

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-10-23 Print this article Print

Augmented Reality: This has been slower in coming around. Sure, "Second Life" has some avid, faithful users. But virtual reality, in which avatars roam digital worlds to feed humans' sense of alternative selves, is slow in coming despite IBM's efforts to insert three-dimensional collaboration into Lotus.

CSC eventually sees a blend of virtual and physical reality giving rise to augmented reality. For example, TC2 makes the Intellifit body scanner, a walk-in booth that does a 360-degree body scan to help fit clothes to people.

The scanner uses cylindrical holographic imaging technology to take a full body scan and create 3-D avatar images with a person's measurements. Shoppers can use the avatars to try on clothing when shopping online.

Information Transparency: In short, there will be sensors everywhere. Google Android creator Andy Rubin would appreciate this.

People will be able to "see" all their assets through tailored services such as personalized medicine. Google Health, Microsoft's HealthVault and Revolution Health all aim to give users greater control over their health records online. However, the door swings both ways to reveal a Catch-22.

In this increasingly transparent world, Webcams let you see what your team members are working on, while employers use this transparency to inspect software code. On the job, privacy may erode if the proper steps aren't taking. Telecommuting everywhere, anyone?

New Wave of Waves: Wireless technology, baby. Apple's iPhone, Google's Android platform. Open access to run any application on any device anywhere in the world.

Fuss and Gustafson nailed it when they wrote, "The race to stake out the wireless frontier is precipitating a spectrum battle between the established telcos; radio, cable and satellite broadcasters; Internet service providers; and startups."

In this battle, wireless will win, with location-aware Web services and commerce leading the way. Which players will remain standing is unclear. Google already disrupted the 700MHz wireless auction, forcing Verizon to scramble to get the C spectrum it coveted.

Will Google wrest control of the mobile Web from its rivals the way it has the desktop, or will Microsoft, Nokia or some other player take charge? Ultimately, the CSC researchers predict a dynamic digital spectrum replete with open access.


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