Know-how as a bridge in time: Shaping the way forward for mind well being by way of in the present day’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 damage­in a position aug­ment­ed actual­i­ty (AR) tech­nol­o­gy. You could possibly 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.

Virtually 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 and so they have been simply put on­ing it to look cool. I’ve to confess, I did the identical.

Perhaps 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 received to mar­ket makes me even proud­er of VISUnit, although our jour­ney was fairly a bit dif­fer­ent. Glass could 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 navy.

I’ve talked about how tech­nol­o­gy ought to allow human capa­bil­i­ty. It ought to take us from what we will do to what we wish 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 person base. But it surely cap­tures and doc­u­ments a second that provides rise to the following gen­er­a­tion of creators.

The world of tech­nol­o­gy doesn’t all the time assume this fashion. Peo­ple argue over who invent­ed some­factor first. Patents are a technique to put a stake within the floor, however that’s all they’re. Simply since you patent some­factor doesn’t imply will probably be a viable prod­uct. Though tim­ing is prob­a­bly one of the vital 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 unsuitable, however they tried anyway.

Carry­ing 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 may see why mar­ket suc­cess is sort of all the time a protracted shot. Within the case of Cos­moBot, regardless of the excessive want for inno­v­a­tive, inter­ac­tive edu­ca­tion­al tech­nolo­gies for teenagers with dis­abil­i­ties, the tech­nol­o­gy was not mature. Con­sumers weren’t able to pay the worth. So we switched gears and devel­oped Cosmo’s Study­ing Sys­tem to hit the candy spot of want, tech matu­ri­ty, and market.

However that Venn dia­gram, pic­tured on the chap­ter start­ning, is just not sta­t­ic. It’s con­stant­ly chang­ing. Within the case of CLS, the tech­nol­o­gy and there­fore the mar­ket modified although the necessity didn’t. Because the iPad and oth­er pill com­put­ers grew to become the norm, the tablets drove and adjusted the necessity—although 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 package 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 package 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 are actually mak­ing sim­i­lar inroads for VR/AR. And tech­nol­o­gy does come again round. Microsoft current­ly gained a $22 bil­lion con­tract from the mil­i­tary to devel­op the Inte­grat­ed Visu­al Aug­males­ta­tion Sys­tem, which is an AR sys­tem for sol­diers’ deci­sion making.

Sounds famil­iar?

On the con­sumer facet, the truth that Google Glass exist­ed was sufficient. It impressed peo­ple to assume past tra­di­tion­al methods of mov­ing about our envi­ron­ment. As an alternative of look­ing down at a tool, we may 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 in the present day by way of­out many indus­tries. And as some­one who has cre­at­ed many inven­tions that nev­er left the lab or have been too ear­ly for the mar­ket, I like the truth that Glass got here out at all!

Face­e book, Ray-Ban, and Snap have launched sensible glass­es, which con­tain embed­ded cam­eras. The com­pa­nies are guess­ting that focus­ing on the shape fac­tor of cool shades and the con­ve­nience of with the ability to take a pho­to fast­ly and eas­i­ly, whereas not lower­ting edge, could actually be the killer app that remaining­ly breaks the con­sumer mar­ket open.

Time will inform.

– Dr. Corin­na (Cori) Lath­an is a tech­nol­o­gy entre­pre­neur who has devel­oped robots for teenagers with dis­abil­i­ties, vir­tu­al actual­i­ty tech­nol­o­gy for the area sta­tion, and put on­in a position sen­sors for practice­ing sur­geons and sol­diers. Above is an adapt­ed excerpt from her new e book, 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.

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