The thought of virtual sugar plums are dancing in my head…

Will sugar plums be holographically available by Christmas? Well perhaps even dancing? It is a question that I am sure no one other than me is asking. Visions of sugar plums dancing in your living room (holographically) because, well you can.

We sit today on the cusp the edge the very precipice of the dawn of the information age. It has to become easier to get data from you to your device. From your device back to you. Then around the world in less than 80 milliseconds to the person next to you. Impromptu meetings popping up in subway cars. Virtual reality taking us on a journey of information capture and reuse. There are steps to be taken as we crawl towards that age of information.

Voice control is much improved. Alexa, now interacts with you much more than it did. Amazon has done a tremendous job with that product. From the FireTV, Kindle and now Alexa lines they have managed to make media a component of life easily consumed. The holographic presentation and VR devices are coming. Soon.

But voice control has as I’ve said really improved. To the point where the failure rate is less unless you are in the car. In the car because of road noise you still have a fairly high failure rate (about 30%) overall. The application of voice control remains specific to the environment. Suddenly announcing in the middle of a dinner party “Alexa play classical music” can be disruptive and startling for those unaware that there was a device listening.

Of course the reality of all this interaction is someone can hack the system. Today the Amazon speakers only listen after you say Alexa. (interesting the Amazon Echo commercials use the name Alexa in the commercial and our Echo interacts with the TV. Unusually saying I didn’t understand but still connecting and trying based on Alexa being uttered. The same is true for the new Jeopardy J6 game, when the commercial is on, the local Echo tries to also play!) So a hacker could turn on the microphone of your Echo without you knowing it.

It is easy to live in fear of being hacked. Most people never know when it happens or worse only find out when it is too late. Once the hacker has drained your accounts and transferred your money to an off short account. There are TV shows that play off and build those fears. For the most part you have to be careful but living in fear doesn’t work in the long run. Protect yourself, make sure someone is checking your Identity for you (as well as doing it yourself). Simple and easy rules apply of course!

Information that is critical to you as a person shouldn’t be broadcast. If you have to use a credit card, use one that watches your account and using the data analytics makes sure it knows how you use the card (normally). But don’t live in fear of devices. They do many wonderful things and letting them support you is a value for you and those around you. Just be careful, the best defense is awareness.

The other side of voice control and beyond voice control is the expansion of VR. Voice control isn’t a requirement for VR, but not devoting a massive amount of device processing power to the input and output of sound reduces the amount of processing required, therefore increasing the amount of processing power per device that is available.

Rendering the world around you in virtual reality takes power. Like my new favorite idea. When you don’t remember where you’ve left something what do you do? Retrace your steps? I do all the time. So what if your device records that. You can then in a VR recreation of the moment by moment process observe yourself. You will quite quickly see where you left your keys. Or your phone or whatever else you have forgotten. VR as a memory aid will be a huge plus for many people.

“Is that a virtual dagger I see before me?”

Books will become interactive presentations. Imagine walking alongside Scrooge as he shuffles home from his day as a money changer. Or the thrill of riding alongside as you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance. Interactive books slowly returning reading to prominence. Read the book than experience the reality!

The dawn of the information age lies just ahead.

I wonder if virtual sugar plums have any calories?


Virtual dreamer