It all starts with the iPhone
Apple recently celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone which is the birth of the modern smartphone era. If you consider that for a moment, it almost seems crazy to think that in less than a decade, that small hand held smart phone format has achieved so much; Uber has almost single handedly decimated the taxi industry, navigation has been made traffic aware and real-time with Google Maps, Waze, and others, and a president is interacting in real-time on Twitter.
Technical innovation is getting faster
The pace at which new technology is able to grow from idea to ubiquity continues to get shorter for game changing innovations like the iPhone. With that in mind, we believe the next big wave maker will be augmented/mixed reality. Apple and Google have started adding this with ARKit & ARCore being released respectively. But augmented reality in the phone is not what will drive this change. There are many companies working on fully integrated augmented reality glasses and whoever gets this right first in a consumer market palatable form, will set off this next wave of transformation.
Reality & digital mixed together
Given the speed that smartphones went from launch to being in every pocket, it should not be too far of a leap to expect a similar uptake speed in augmented reality lenses. The benefits of being able to overlay digital information on the real world as you move around about your day has incredible potential for both our business and personal lives. And these overlays won’t be limited to static information of course as we will likely see text, animations, and video as part of our mixed reality world.
Here is where it gets weird
If we are all walking around with these glasses just like we presently do with smart phones, then what might change? Do we need televisions if we could all simply sit together, stare at a spot on the wall, and everyone sees a realistic television with current football game projected on to their lenses? If we are all experiencing through sight and sound that a TV exists, then it sort of does exist……
What implications might this have in other areas? Imagine fashion for example. The style and color of the physical garment is of no importance if we are all seeing a digital overlay of the latest Gucci digital design. If the glasses can operate at a resolution that they can effectively create through digital anything that in the physical world is only a visual and audio construct, what happens then?
Do we need to manufacture, and ship paint around the world if we can recreate it digitally. And what might change given the digital nature of these visual overlays. Maybe the dress instead of looking like something we see today is actually a looping video of a sun setting or the ocean’s waves. I think there is likely to be changes that we can’t predict as people dig in and play with what is an entirely new medium.
It all ties back to video
How does this relate to video and the mission we are on here at Swarmify? The answer is that we can’t get to this future of rich digital imagery interwoven with our reality if we aren’t able to reliably solve transmitting video over the Internet to your device. Solving for video delivery is a precursor for any of this to be possible and there is still much work to be done on this front. Even content delivery networks with billions of dollars invested in network infrastructure are only able to deliver a buffer-free experience at best 75% of the time. Whatever the future brings, whether its what we laid out or something totally different, it will be built on the blocks of today. Our goal is to make reliable video delivery effortless today, so we can enable the future and what that brings.