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by Tom Berry
(trust him - he's older now)

Held in Your Hands
The rise of smart devices

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I've fought the notion of moving into the realm of "smart" cell phones. Aaaaargh! I just want to make a call, but I have to learn the genre, the think mode, get a new mindset, new philosophy, and figure out whether they support life.

Well, get ready. Even if you are stubborn like me you are going to get snagged, eventually, into using one of these things, regardless.

AR (augmented reality--you know, like Congress) is the new term describing a big undertow in the industry that is giving hand-held device users a plethora of abilities, even the ability to see through things.

I've been involved in 3D development for quite a while. I’ve worked with folks who have been busy creating your town, city, and habitat in 3D. Say you’re on a construction job-site, preparing for bidding on a building’s exterior and interior finishing. The virtual 3-D representation makes it easy to study, makes bidding so much easier and more accurate. And everything is instantly distributable.

Pretty soon hand-held devices will be able to translate all that convenience into aid for travelers to foreign places, Imagine a virtual guidance system layered in real video of where you are going, walking, driving. Not to mention language translations real time. Bon Voyage!!

The implications go on and on. Nobody has to remember anything any more because the source of the truth, well—the debatable truth, is available on your hand held, Bing (bong) Google. In the new guidance hand-held virtual system you'll look down and see an arrow on the sidewalk (you've seen this type of thing on Sunday football) look up and see, via your arms length grasp, signs that explain and point the way. You'll see into the interior of buildings from your vantage point outside. You'll see other people doing the same thing and perhaps pointing it at you!

Physician, heal thyself!--pretty soon the diagnostic of you is going to be available through your hand held device.

Oh, and don't forget that you can make phone calls with that thing, or text, or transcribe your voice to text, translated, augmented, amplified, added to the video that you are instantly passing online to share with the world. It just goes on and on.

Typing, touching, sliding is being replaced by voice with feelings and gestures, emotions to create an interactive environment that will give your hand-held the conversation skills of humans. You're going to be having human-to-human type interactive experiences with your hand-held. And we used to make fun of people who talked to no one in their cars. Now, we are going to have to be careful not to fall in love with a "smart" device.

Robotics is huge, an industry building at an alarming rate. I say "alarming" because some of us older interactive humans (who still gesture lucidly) can remember days of yore and clumsy sci-fi that tried to depict predictions for robotics in black and white. Your smart device could, fairly soon, become somebody you may have to introduce at the office Christmas party.

So, hang on to your hand-held and dream about the not so distant future. You're going to be having a.... NO, don't be angry. It's all coming, actually is here now. Be nice. If I can move to the future so can you. Aaaargghhh!


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