Three Big (and interconnected) Predictions of the Future


The next big thing will be the VideoNet.

VideoNet (definition): The VideoNet is the creation of an online video archive of what has happened anywhere at any time using an interconnected archive of video recordings.

The VideoNet is Closed Circuit TV on a global scale. The Internet has connected the world’s conceptual knowledge, and the VideoNet will connect what is happening in the World.  It will enable us to tune into any point in history at any time.

THE Virtual World

THE Virtual World will be an accurate virtual world reproduction of our Earth. At the moment there are various virtual world systems (Second Life, Reaction Grid) that are creating fantastic 3D worlds with only quasi similarity to our own. THE Virtual World will allow us to teleport into any position on the Earth and Experience what it is like to be there. Just as there were initially many search engines, only one virtual world will end up being THE Virtual World (presumably the most lifelike, fully featured and easy to use), and everyone will go there because everyone else is there (much like the Facebook phenomenon).

Of course, after the Virtual World has been reproduced, we will have THE Virtual Solar System, THE Virtual Galaxy…

THE Augmented World – Blending of the VideoNet and THE Virtual World to form

Video processing technology will soon reach a point where given any two cameras and their precise positions it will be possible to replicate the real world as a virtual world in real time. This sort of technology has already been developed and used to some extent in the making of the movie Avatar (for instance).

At the same time, Augmented Reality technology enables digital representations of objects to be integrated into video recordings in real time. That means that it will be possible for people to enter into (an) THE Augmented World from wherever they happen to be located. For instance:

  • You want to see what variety of biscuits are available at your local supermarket – just enter THE Augmented World and as long as they have appropriate video capture technology (connected to the VideoNet) then it will be possible to see what biscuits are available (either through the VideoNet or through it’s reproduction in THE Virtual World). Further, if you would like to ask questions to staff, as long as you have video capture technology in your lounge room (say) and there are supermarket attendees wearing digital glasses that are connected to a machine logged into THE Virtual World, not only will you be able to walk up to them and ask them questions, but they will be able to see you in the supermarket and respond as though you were there.
  • You are a student who wants to attend a class across the other side of town (or planet). Assuming the classroom is being captured on video by the VideoNet and in turn piped to THE Virtual World, you can login and attend the class. Further, as long as you have video capture technology in your study (say) and the teacher and students are wearing digital glasses that are also logged into that class, then they can see and interact with you as though you were there.

THE VideoNet, THE Virtual World and THE Augmented World are the next big things

About matthewbower

Professor at Macquarie University.
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