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Smartphones: VoIP solutions

Virtual reality at a tipping point

While evidently a work of fiction, Cline draws heavily from innovation that already exists and platforms that are emerging. Cline’s somewhat pessimistic dystopia is grounded in a certain technical probability.

This first point is already becoming a reality, as more business move into the cloud and e-commerce becomes a constant our money, goods and services will become more virtual. The Australian launch of Spotify can attest that as consumers we are becoming more willing to subscribe to access to goods. It is a trend I don’t see weakening.

In my university days, I was a co-owner/developer of one of the larger pre-graphical multi-user communities. Multi-user dimension known as MUDS were virtual worlds rendered in text and inhabited by thousands. I always knew that, as the web matured and the hardware became more capable, these worlds would get more advanced, accessible and accepted. Today's massively multiplayer games and even social networks have these internet chat programs as part of their DNA.

My point is that as research improves and visual, auditory and even olfactory realism progresses, there is already an audience ready to migrate. There always has been.

Smartphones have already started utilising very basic haptic feedback using vibrations to simulate button presses. Haptic gloves use tiny bladders that can be filled with air or liquid to simulate more complicated sensations of touch just as rough or smooth surfaces. Haptic innovation has been around for a during and is fundamental to Braille keyboards. The day when you can buy a set of haptic gloves at a reasonable price will shortly be upon us.

The innovation will develop with a discrete purpose in mind just as education and entertainment, for instance, however ultimately reach its fulfilment when all the pieces are put at the same time to enable financial, emotional and social status interactions.

The convergence of cloud computing

The convergence of cloud computing, powerful graphic processors, sense manipulating hardware, speech and gesture recognition when applied to telecommuting, virtual travel, distance education and many other experiences will open the door to new highs and lows of human/computer interaction.

George Wright keeps his eye on emerging innovation trends and figures out how they impact life and business. View more entries from Smoke & Mirrors

More information: Smh.com