Getting Familiar with Leading Edge Technologies

by Nils Smith, Chief Strategist Social Media+Innovation

New technologies are evolving faster than the speed of light. So what are they and what do they do? 

Let’s unpack the three specific mediums of virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence.

Virtual reality

Mark Zuckerberg recently predicted that one billion people would engage with virtual reality over the next decade. It’s expected to be a household engagement platform for media, leaving an exciting opportunity for many organizations in the coming years.

But what exactly is it?

The goal of virtual reality is to replace your reality with a new virtual computer-generated environment. It comes in the shape of a video game or a specific environment you interact with, or even a 360-degree movie playing all around you. The idea is to trick your brain into thinking that what you see is your new reality.

This medium was born out of the Air Force flight-training program. It’s obviously easier and cheaper to practice fighting maneuvers without shooting, ejecting, and crashing actual million dollar planes. It makes perfect sense in that setting.

But today, companies are creating personal virtual reality experiences you can buy and use for your own entertainment. They do this quite literally by taking over your sight. Just like we use headphones to completely take over our sense of sound, this headset completely takes over your vision – and I mean all of it!

Think about the potential of engaging those interested in your organization with this medium. Imagine having their full attention through a 360-degree video activated through a headset.

We can’t ever stop thinking ahead.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality is similar to virtual reality, but takes a physical experience in front of you and adds multiple layers of virtual experiences on top of it. A bit confusing, I know.

To better understand it, think Pokemon Go or Snapchat. The fad of Pokemon Go a few years ago consisted of people running around trying to find little virtual creatures in their physical spaces. They weren’t physically there, but they were virtually there. These augmented reality technologies took our physical space and added a virtual layer on top of it.

Snapchat is another modern example. This app includes filters where, for instance, you might open your mouth and turn into a monster. Many of these technologies at this point are simply silly and playful. But there are some practical uses, such as exhibits where virtual art is laid on top of a blank wall, or media that can be consumed in different layers.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence refers to the broad category of computing, in which a system is capable of learning directly from data.

Here at Dunham+Company, we believe in the importance of data. The way we collect it, understand it, and apply it is critically important to the success of the organizations we partner with.

Historically, we’ve had to filter through our data, understand it, create systems around it, and optimize it.

But now, data systems are becoming smarter and helping us process the data in more detailed ways. As our data systems become better and more efficient, we become more customized in the way that we engage and communicate.

With the digital revolution, we can now communicate in the most effective way for every single person individually. As we’re able to capture the data and understand it through artificial intelligence, we become that much more effective through hyper-personalization of content.

Keep an eye on these three mediums… they’ll likely be a larger part of your future than you realize.

For more practical ways to further your organizational goals using virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence, check out Nils Smith’s Dunham Institute course Getting Ahead of Our Future Reality.


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