In class today we were challenged to think of the most outlandish or inventive thing that could come about in the future for communication technologies. There was no limit to something that had to seem somewhat “feasible”, and something already available but just not widely was on the board as well.
We are no strangers to communication technology and we have all over the years accepted the changes that have evolved and do not even think twice about it. But when it comes down to putting thoughts on paper “or computer screen and hitting Publish”, it became hard to really think about.
We had to think of a new technology and what new industries could come about with it. How would this new technology alter our social, cultural and economic relations? Would there be any obstacles?
One of the first proposed ideas was to have an invisible camera built into the middle of screens (computers, tablets, phones..) that would allow a more natural “face-to-face” conversation over one of these devices. We each gave our gripe about how awkward it is when you are trying to look at the screen directly at the person you are “talking” to, and yet on their screen you are looking away from them. It makes your good intention back-fire and your stuck with a constant limbo in your head of “look there… no, that’s not right… ok, here… ugh!”… What were they saying again?!
Our final idea that we thought would be so ground breaking was the use of interactive holograms. We thought this clever until all other groups in the class decided on the same thing… (they must have heard our conversations).
Sure, there’s Skype and Tango which allow video chats, but it’s always about wanting that experience to add “more”. If somehow the hologram was also linked to the body so that it could feel sensation, that would be great. Just imagine that you have a relative overseas who you rarely get to see. Not only can you talk to them, you could be able to imitate a hug with that person. The personal levels that people could benefit from are endless.
Professionals and politicians could use this service just as well. An example we discussed was a Diplomat who needed to negotiate with another person in another country but is not able to physically be there. They could discuss matters and “shake” on agreements.
Some industries that could come about with this new invention would be a whole new type of engineers and programmers who would develop this into a working model. There could be “Hologram Cafes” where you could rent time, very similar to internet cafes. There would be new special sections of privacy and legal teams who would determine what can and cannot be done with holograms. There could be an industry created to figure out how to holograms pets!
How would this alter social, cultural and economic relations? Some of the social alterations are mentioned above in how it could help relationships. This new technology would find a way to be profitable and marketable to the consumers, so it will have benefits for the economy. Culturally, we would have to decide how much we want these to be present and set limits on when they can and cannot be used.
Obstacles to holograms are the technology deficits that make it currently not operable at the level that we would like it to be. Another obstacle is that it’s just plain weird. It sure looks cool though!