Kategorie: Gesellschaft

The Office Workplace Of The Future

Screens get more and more important in our daily lives. They got up to photo realistic sharpness. They got as flat as paper. Highly energy efficient and even bendable. But the future for the display manufacturers are bleak. Why? Because you will only need 2 displays to replace them all!

Since I first had an Occulus Rift DK1 on my head I tell my friends about this technology. But VR will not be the future of the workplace. VR is just a, very simple, stepping stone. I believe that hyper realistic Augmented Reality will be the future. It needs three technologies to come together to make that happen: High Resolution Ultra Realistic Semitransparent Imaging, Real Time Location Mapping and High Precision Spacial Location Technologies.

The Incredients

High Resolution Ultra Realistic Semitransparent Imaging is the obvious part. Lets unravel that adjective worm. First semitransparent. This is the basic difference between virtual reality and augmented reality. The first one is none transparent and just renders everything. The second one uses a (semi) transparent display and renders „over“ the picture you see through. Thus a augmented reality solution can also be a virtual reality solution by rendering over all the display, blocking out the real world.
High Resolution is the next adjective: Imagine an imaging system that can show you digital pictures that are so finely rasterized, that you can not see any pixels anymore. Sounds complicated? It’s actually not. If you have a display close to your eye, or maybe even in your eye (in form of a contact lens or an implant) you need only to reach the resolution of your eyes retina. With current 2D displays you have the problem, that you can move your eye closer to the display until you see the pixels, or farther away, where you „waste“ the high resolution. With an display in or directly in front of your eye, you can optimize that display to have exactly the needed resolution. The resolution is actually not that high and, sooner or later, will be build.
The next attribute is Ultra Realistic. This means, that the coloring and lighting of the object needs to be perfect. The problem is not the rendering part. The problem to solve here, is to recognize the lighting situation of the real world, so that the object you are rendering looks like it is really there. This ties in nicely with the second technology that is needed:

Real Time Location Mapping describes the capability to „scan“ the surrounding and building a precise digital model of it – in real time. Why is this necessary? Well if you want to put a virtual piece of paper on your desk, you need to know how high the desk is, the slope of the desk etc. Else you piece of paper could „float“ above the desk or sink into it which would destroy the immersive effect you want to create in the first place. Also you need this model to create physical correct behavior. If you drop a ball on a slope it should roll to the physically right direction.

High Precision Spacial Location Technologies are needed to place things in the real world and finding it again at the same place when you come back. It is also necessary for sharing objects between people in the same area. Maybe you want other people to see the same virtual picture on the wall.

This is how the future will look like

Lets imagine you are an IT guy, working on creating software systems. Your powerful IDE gives you lots of helpful views/widgets/windows to work on your code. In the old days you were limited to 1 or 2, rarely more displays (your boss didn’t want to pay for more). Now, you simply create as many virtual displays as you need and you position them around your place. Some could „stand“ on the desk, some less often used ones may float next to you in the air.

You are working together with 7 other people in a small crossfunctional team. You see Bob on his desk in the corner, albeit he works from home today. He just choose to transmit his presence into the office space, so that other people know where he is (and that the boss believes that he is working).

On the far wall of the room the team decided to project the production server logs and the build server status. So both things are always in sight. Basically the team defined that the wall is now a huge 5x3m screen. This information is location dependent and private. Only team members that come into the office will see this information. The calendar with the plan for physical presence in the office on the other hand is publicly shared. So everybody that comes in can see it. It is automatically updated from the database, no manual syncing of information between electronic and physical mediums is needed.

What are the consequences?

Well a very simple consequence is that you will no longer need displays on other gadgets. Phones can be created without display, maybe they become more like an wristband or the „StarTrek“ Communication button. You will neither need a PC/Laptop Monitor, projector nor a TV. This is bad news for display manufacturing companies. Either they jump on the AR train and lead the charge (to survive) or they will try to stop this evolution. History will tell which side they chose.

You also don’t need a dedicated wall/furniture for the now obsolete displays anymore. Architecture and interior design can now focus on other aspects of live, instead of building the living room around the TV.

Another consequence is, that the digital world will be everywhere. You can overlay videos over everything. In newspapers (if dead trees aka paper will still be used) or as commercials in the streets.

Another aspect is that windows and views are also obsolete. You can have jar dropping views in your small town basement apartment just as well as in a skyline loft. This can very well change the real estate market. AR will make anything possible as long as it is visual.

Where are we right now?

For this I would like to share a TED talk from April 2016. It is a showcase for Microsoft HoloLens. It is not yet there, but it is not to far away either.

Do you think I’m right, or where did I go wrong? Let me know in the comments.


Was die Zukunft bringt

Effizienz und Produktivität ist für die Roboter. (Kevin Kelly)

Ich kenne Kevin Kelly von Tim Ferriss‘ Podcast. Er beschäftigt sich mit Trends und Technologien und ist als Mitgründer von „Wired Magazin“ hierfür kein schlechter Ansprechpartner. In seinem 1994 erschienenen Buch hat er sich bereits mit Dezentralisierung und Selbstorganisation (Schwarmintelligenz) beschäftigt. Dieser TED Talk ist sehr zu empfehlen:

Politische Führung mit Boots On The Ground

Ich habe gerade dieses Video mit Bezug auf den BREXIT gesehen:

Eine sehr interessante Aussage war, dass der Redner, der sich als weltoffen und inklusiv versteht, in den Gegenden die für den Austritt waren, gerade mal 4 Tage seines Lebens verbracht hat.

Ich glaube, dass dies nicht nur auf ihn zutrifft sondern womöglich auf den Großteil der Meinungsführer in der Bundespolitik und den überregionalen Medien.

Der Mangel an Präsenz in und damit auch Verständnis für die Bedürfnisse der nicht ganz so attraktiven Gegenden lässt Raum für die Gruppen welche einfache Lösungen versprechen um persönlichen Einfluss zu erlangen. Diesen Gruppen ist es egal ob die vorgeschlagenen Lösungen überhaupt funktionieren können oder die Situation der Regionen sogar verschlechtern würden.

Interessanterweise ist dies womöglich sogar den Wählern egal, denn was sie eigentlich nur wollen ist „den da Oben einen Denkzettel verpassen“. Wenn Bürger in solchen vergessenen Regionen sich nicht vertreten und verstanden fühlen und deshalb solche Denkzettel wie den BREXIT verteilen, dann sollte die Politik darüber nachdenken neue Wege zu gehen.

Hier ein radikaler Vorschlag: Das Bundeskabinett trifft sich jeden Monat einmal außerhalb Berlins in den Räumen eines Kreistags und verbringt 3-5 Tage in dieser Gegend. Z.B. einen Monat in Schwerin, dann in Bad Kreuznach, Pirna, Mettmann usw.

Das ganze könnte dann jeder Minister in dieser Zeit verbinden mit einer offenen Fragestunde/Podiumsdiskussion zu einem aktuellen Thema oder der ein oder andere Minister könnte eine Kreistags bzw. Stadtratssitzung besuchen.

Klar ist, dass dies alles primär symbolischen Character hat. Jedoch sollte dadurch ein disconnect der Politik von der Stimmung an der Basis zumindest etwas unwahrscheinlicher werden.

Ganz nebenbei entspricht das auch einem Prinzip aus Machiavellis „Der Fürst“: Wenn du eine aufständige Provinz befrieden willst, verlege deine Hauptstadt dort hin.

Nobody can guarantee security, you can only guarantee freedom.

Currently, only short after the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the people in power are discussing again, if they should revoke some of the freedom and rights of the people they rule. Why? To reestablish the feeling of security.

There are three aspects in this, that should all believers in a society of free and equal individuals alarm. I explain them below.

  1. You can not guarantee security, only freedom.
  2. There is no such thing like absolute security.
  3. The principle of separation of powers is under attack.

You can not guarantee security, because security is a „negative concept“, means it is defined by the absence of fear of one’s live, property and family. But you can not guarantee this anymore. Since the moment mankind invented distance weapons (like bow and arrow) or later biological weapons etc. you can never be sure that nobody can harm you. What a state can guarantee is prosecution! That no attacker shall get away without punishment. Collecting data of all people, instead of concrete suspicious people, is not a service but an attack on our culture.
Freedom, in the contrary, is an active service of the state. A state can guarantee the he will not act against somebody in a certain case, thus creating a freedom. States can only guarantee things, they do themselves, like not prosecuting a behavior.

There is no such thing like absolute security. There is only a „feeling of security“. Something bad could happen all the time, and everybody you ask will know this. But events, like terrorist attacks, are meant to destroy this feeling of security (this is what terror means!). If we give up freedoms and rights to reestablish the feeling of security, we gain no permanent salvation. The next attack will happen and destroy the feeling again, leaving us without the feeling and the rights.

The principle of separation of powers is under attack. Our rights and freedoms help guarantee separation of powers. There is a constant tension between those who execute powers, and those who control them. Our societies are build in a way to keep this tension alive with independent courts, executive powers that will execute laws also on legislative members, opposition parties that have insight in current legislation threads and a free press that informs the public about whats going one. Finally, and this is something all Germans should remind the world about, those separations and information have the goal to enable the public to stop malicious governments by revolting and resetting the system. But the same systems that are currently discussed to protect the state and the citizens from attackers/terrorists that hide among us, will serve as tools to stop uprisings, if politics are no longer in line with the needs of the people. So every time people vote „yes“ for surveillance, they reduce there chances of stopping out of control institutions. (Some say, the NSA is already exactly this …)