Virtual Reality Moves to Real-Reality with Sensors and Digital Transformation

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Artificial Intelligence concept.

I was on a high-rise construction site 34-floors above the city. I was talking to the construction crew when a fight broke out. There was an explosion and the floor collapsed. I removed the virtual reality (VR) goggles and laughed. It was so real. The VR solutions provided an incredible experience, almost like being there. As good as my experience was, it was not reality. It was a controlled pre-programmed experience – a notional idea. Today, however, VR and sensor technologies enable a notional idea to become reality – a Real-Reality.

IoT sensors extend our physical senses beyond our physical reach. Haptic feedback systems enable us to physically feel distant objects and experience events, digital odors can be collected, profiled, transmitted and recreated locally on odor printers, 3D infrared scanners can capture and scale physical shapes and environments and transmit them anywhere to be used by 3D printers or in digital scenes. We can visualize, sense, and mentally and emotionally experience events. These experiences, which are data centric and data heavy, go far beyond virtual reality, to Real-Reality (RR).

Wikipedia defines reality as, ”The state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined.” With enough sensors collecting data, and with the right VR solutions and sensory feedback systems in place, we cross the line from virtual to Real-Reality.

Although many of these technologies are still in their infancy, they hint of a time very soon when the ability to bring distant realities into homes, industry and boardrooms are not only possible, but commonplace. The keys to making this future a reality, are collecting the right data, presenting the right data, all optimized to provide the best user experience.

How do we understand distance situations, activities, operations and events today? In many cases a human tries to recreate the situation in words, and then forwards as an email or message. The obvious limitations are the lack of enough timely data, in the right context, and the writing and reading capabilities of those involved. RR solutions with enough digital transformation including real-time sensors and sensory feedback systems can transmit experiences directly to our minds and bodies from anywhere in the world, thus bypassing the limitations of intermediary humans and written languages.

RR enables experts, from anywhere in the world, to manage factories, farms and other kinds of operations from distant locations. The obstacles of the past that resulted in operational blind spots and incomplete information are quickly going away as RR quickly becomes a reality – real-reality.

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Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, where he analyzes emerging technology trends. He has worked with enterprise IT systems and ERPs for over 30 years, rising from an IT business analyst to the CEO of a mobile platform company. Today he is a popular technology analyst, Futurist, keynote speaker and lecturer. He is also an SAP Mentor Alumnus, Digital Transformation Influencer, and continues to write on mobile and digital strategies for publications around the world. In the past four years he has shared his insights and research with companies in 17 different countries, and has over 10,000 followers on Twitter that read his weekly technology and business insights. Profile Summary: -Founder/Principal Consultant, Independent Mobility Analyst, Netcentric Strategies LLC -Veteran Mobile Industry Executive -SAP/Crossgate Product Evangelist and SAP Relationship Manager -Eight years experience in leading-edge mobile and enterprise software technologies -Twenty years of successful enterprise software sales and marketing experience -Eleven years of international business sales experience -Author of many product and mobile solutions datasheets, whitepapers, technology papers and press releases on customer wins and software solutions -In-depth experience with Web 2.0 and online marketing strategies and initiatives -Seminar leader, trainer and conference speaker on many subjects related to field services automation, mobile business technologies and B2B E-Commerce -Management experience includes operating a start-up mobile technologies company, international sales teams, global marketing, business plan development, product management and sales channel development -Featured speaker at Psion Teklogix’s 2008 Mobile Technology Leadership Series -Recipient of SAP's Top Contributor Award in 2009, 2010 and 2011 Specialties: Mobile and digital transformation strategies, writing, keynote speaker

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