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