Blog Archives

Ready to See the Future?

You’re not seeing things:

Steven Spielberg is now a hologram.

Part of the story in Ready Player One is the exploration of the line between reality and virtual reality (VR) in society in 2045, centered in Columbus, Ohio. Rest assured that this blog won’t just reveal spoilers for film and TV without a bold, unmistakable disclaimer. For this specific blog post, have no worries as there are no film or story spoilers here.

Having said that, the special hologram version of Mr. Spielberg is the latest spotlight of the continued blurring of lines between reality and virtual reality that’s existed in various forms for some time now. This cool tech in the video above–also utilized in the original Star Wars trilogy from back in the ’70s and ’80s with Princess Leia–is an example of VR that can live harmlessly in reality.

Bonus points coins would’ve been given to Steven Spielberg and the team at IMAX if they could’ve created and then broadcasted the beloved storyteller’s avatar that would live in the Oasis.

Oh well.

BTW – If you have not seen Ready Player One directed by legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg in theaters on the biggest screen possible, then you should probably get on that ASAP with IMAX.

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Are We Watching the World Flatten Out?

If you would have told me 10 years ago that Facebook would be providing footage of a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match free of charge…

I would have thought you were crazy.

Earlier today, because a certain cable provider that has chosen to invest in rebranding, marketing and just about everything else except for quality, I was left with the option of following virtual text updates for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League game between Sevilla and Bayern Munich. Then, I had an idea. After the TV and ESPN app options provided a nil-nil result, I logged into Facebook. And there, before my eyes, one click away was the Fox Soccer Channel’s video and commentary feed of the aforementioned game via Facebook Live.

Simply incredible in more ways than one.

One: Social media has effectively entered some of the biggest sports broadcasting stadiums and games around the world in real-time, albeit at a seemingly small-scale at the moment.

Two: The Facebook Live video (with quality commentary) was/is free.

For a social networking platform that is rightfully being criticized for privacy issues, this is one positive story for Mark Zuckerberg’s company this week. While Facebook Live isn’t new, the Sevilla vs. Bayern Munich game earlier today highlights that–much like the communications industry–broadcasting sports games has entered a new phase that could prove to have good and bad consequences by flattening out through technological innovation.

Is the Pay-Per-View model slowly nearing the antiquated tech graveyard? How does cable TV respond concerning its sports packages if this isolated game, presumably available to fans (and Facebook users) around the country and the world, evolves into the rule and not the exception? Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Should there be some exclusive reward for purchasing/investing in premium cable channels and packages? How will (or does) privacy issues play into using Facebook Live, YouTube Live or similar streaming services while logged in as a user? How should we consume a variety of live television programs?

One thing I know for certain at this point is that I watched Bayern Munich score two critical away goals in a 2-1 win at Sevilla with an enjoyable post-game recap by a Fox Soccer Channel host and two analysts.

Lots of questions to ponder. So, round-and-round we’ll go.

Electric Cars Are Barely Making Noise on the Road

In the US, electric cars still make up less than 1 percent of new car sales. The path to 100 percent will be a long one, and the engine won’t cede such ground without a fight.
–As Electric Cars Surge, the Gas Engine Keeps Getting Better, Jack Stewart, WIRED Online

More people today likely know the name Elon Musk than Nikolaus August Otto. While Mr. Musk is believed by some to be the tech and pop-culture heir of sorts to the late Steve Jobs, Mr. Otto paved the way for what is known today as the internal combustion engine way back in the 19th century.

As Tesla’s are being bought and seen on the road, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s journey of an electric future is still in the crawling phase in many ways. Admittedly, that “1% of new car sales” statistic is surprising. Arguably, Tesla’s car line is evolving as the leader in the promising development of electric cars. Make no mistake that the pursuit of an emissions-free transportation future is admirable and intriguing. Combining a positive environmental impact with a dynamic and exciting product in the free market is a win-win scenario. The all-electric car is an impressive invention that should and will improve in the coming years and decades, along with its necessary and developing infrastructure. And yet, let’s not ignore the realities of society-altering innovations as technology continues to expand into every aspect of our lives, both professionally and personally.

As strange as it may read, we are facing a sophisticated, consequential dilemma with Tesla and its part in an electric transportation future. Will it be as promising and as beneficial as we want it to be? Wherever there’s electricity, there’s a grid that’s inevitably accompanied by a power struggle. Remember that. And in every situation, there are costs and benefits to seriously consider. With that in mind, as Tesla continues to sell and improve its various models one-by-one, let’s take the time to reflect on what the future would be if and when that 99%-1% statistic is one day flipped.

Random question: What are your thoughts on dealing with tech support?

Riding in a Tesla, according to reports, is a smooth and mostly noiseless ride. This is one of the bonuses of an electric engine that doesn’t roar like a Mustang. That is until you hit bumps in the road because there are always bumps in the road. But if we take the time to plan, we can avoid the greatest damage before it’s too late.

We should be equally excited and cautious concerning innovation. Moreover, we should be ready to not just ask when something new will happen, but what happens when it does.

Innovation has a long arc, so we best prepare for that long ride when that new road finally arrives and is here for the long, quiet haul.

Magic’s Illusory Leap

The intersection between movies, TV, and reality occurs more than we may imagine.

There are several forward-thinking companies around the world that are developing products and technology today that will shape our lives in the future. And of these firms, there’s one that may not just change the way we see the world, but more so what we see in our own personal space.

Interesting technology, to say the least.

Now, this Wired report is from last spring. The reason for writing about it now is because the 2018 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is happening this week, which is one of the brightest spotlights of the year for evolving technology. Here’s a Magic Leap update from a few weeks ago.

The verdict for Magic Leap is certainly cloudy at the moment. Currently, it’s safe to proclaim that looks can be deceiving for tech’s next big (potential) magic leap. It also looks like the mysterious startup team in Florida was inspired by one of pop-culture’s gold mines: TV’s ongoing science-fiction craze.

It’s science-fiction until it’s not, which is cause for excitement and concern.