AR – Augmented Retail

In 2020, Magic leap’s releases their 2nd generation of ar glasses, glasses that finally find consumer consumer acceptance in their attractive styles and practically invisible technology. A little bulkier than a standard set of frames, these glass deliver on the everyday promise of practically 24/7 AR. While the first generation was a success with gamers and businesses the original goggle like format was too distracting to everyday users, but this is a new day. Amazing jumps in battery, computing and wireless technology now allow us to experience a fully mixed reality. This experience is extremely useful in retail, allowing customers to identify products there are interested in at a distance, try on clothing without removing any clothes, analyze sales people’s honesty with emotion recognition, “oh really? Does this really look fantastic on me?.”  People making more considered purchases can see the invisible as they gather information about the object of their desire. How much is this jewelry worth, is it really 24 carat? Who did the cut? Those lucky enough to own the new glasses will flock to retail to get the best of both the online and physical retail experience in one.


Headline from 2020:
Amazon delivers its millionth package via drone in just 12 days

In its first official roll out amazon deployed 2,000 drones across 500 suburban neighborhoods who agreed to allow the service in 2019. Amazon is working towards its goal of moving 25% of its delivery service to autonomous drones by 2025.  Amazon Now Air has a perfect safety record despite all of the initial concerns; this safety record comes at the expense of reliability and delivery times though with many weather groundings and longer flight paths to avoid travelling over people’s homes and populated areas. The service is constrained to small items under 5lbs, but is very popular with people who understand the services limitations.  Many users experience deliver times of under an hour for popular items. Amazon also announced that it has cut its greenhouse gas output by 5% to date because of the electric based UAV fleet. Each drone is currently making about 12 trips a day serviced from a local warehouse or storage container based distribution point outfitted with a technician and a battalion of battery charging equipment.


Dimensional UI

For the first couple years of the AR/VR revolution, UI’s were a horrific mess, from un-navigable incredibly complex Iron Man style interfaces to overly simplistic 2d menus that reminded us of in car interfaces from the early 2000’s, dozens of clicks to change the car’s clock. But now in 2020, 3D ui has found its sweet spot. The gradual evolution of the right blend of beauty and usability as a new generation of experience designers and artists, put their ideas in front of originally thousands and now more recently millions of users. The technology evolved to as the field of view of AR and VR devices has gone from postage stamps to full eye vistas. Sophisticated computer vision algorithms and eye tracking have escalated natural gesture based communication to the point that many people prefer point at things to control them to saying it out loud to their voice based AR assistants.

In 2020, Microsoft’s holo-office software is released, providing a natural next step for Microsofts return as a digital business powerhouse.  With Holo-office users can work together both remote and in person with equal experiences. Wearing a version 2 hololens in VR mode, workers can share the office space with their non-virtual co-workers. Remote workers appear at their virtual desks for those wearing a hololens in AR mode in your physical office. Workers can collaborate on documents everywhere and anywhere with a virtual screen that all participants can see.


Headline from 2020:
The hospital’s new eyes

For years the medical community has used this graphic to remind doctors and nurses to be sensitive to their patients discomfort. But IBM has released a new system using Watson to use video to identify patient pain, heart rate and skin temperature with traditional and FLIR cameras. Leveraging the state of art emotion recognition algorithms Watson is able to identify patients struggling with pain in context of their condition and medications, and able to take corrective measures, either by alerting the nursing staff or dispensing medication as required. The system has been proven to be 300% more accurate over human screeners, and in once case Watson identified a pattern of pain that identified an unknown issue and saved the patients life. The majority of patients are aware of the system and happy that it is watching over them, better than a limited nursing staff could do on its own.