The Augmented Reality and the Evolution of Expectations

By Shuang Yu, Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing, IEEE Standards Association

I was introduced to the eye-opening film, Augmented City 3D, in October 2014 at the InsideAR Conference in Munich. Designer and film-maker Keiichi Matsuda shows us a not-too-distant future enabled by augmented reality (AR), in which, as he describes it, “the architecture of the contemporary city is no longer simply about the physical space of buildings and landscape, more and more it is about the synthetic spaces created by the digital information that we collect, consume and organize.”

What initially struck me about the movie is how data follows people and they interact with that as an immersive human-computer interface and how simply it all existed in the physical realm without prompts from a handheld device. The film’s characters interacted with digital information as though it was an everyday experience; it just “lived and breathed” around their reality. It was expected to be available as they moved through life.

And then it was weeks later, back home in the United States, that I had another revelation about the movie. My friend’s 2-year-old daughter for some time has been using an iPad to play games, so she has grown accustomed to swiping the touchscreen to move things around. One day, the little girl tried to interact with the TV in the same way she would with an iPad—by swiping the screen. Of course, nothing happened. Again, she touched the TV screen and swiped. Still, nothing happened.

“Mommy,” she said, finally giving up, “the TV is broken.”

This is how today’s younger generation interacts with things in a world where everything—stuff and humans—more and more frequently is interconnected. It is a very different reality, a very different set of expectations for how the world works from the one that my and previous generations were born into. And, so, while I find mind-blowing most everything about Keiichi Matsuda’s augmented-reality vision, the technology innovations upon which AR is taking shape are already evolving our children’s expectations to those of the characters in the film.

The IEEE white paper “A Day in 2020: An AR market development and community engagement project” describes today’s AR technology and delivery methods:

Projection AR uses fixed or mobile projectors to superimpose light on the target. This is highly suitable for performing arts, manufacturing, and public art installations. Unlike projection alone, the experience of the user must change when the physical world changes.

Desktop or console AR is stationary and the user seems to see a mirror of the physical world in which additional digital assets are overlaid.

Mobile displays can be optical see-through or video see-through. Smartphones and tablets are not transparent, so they can only be video see-through. Transparent or semi-transparent materials, such as lenses in glasses or contact lenses, permit optical see-through AR in which the user sees the real world (not a video of it).

That’s today, but the technology for AR delivery will become more complex and enhanced. Plus, the concept and capabilities of augmented reality are quickly spilling across all of our senses. AR is not only about sight and touch; innovations today are already showing how AR will also envelop sound, smell and taste.

As we begin to see AR and its associated technologies permeate the world in such ways, what near-term and long-term change might be in store for travel, food and gaming industries? How might they change education and entertainment? And where else can you imagine these innovations transforming our ways of life and our expectations?

For example, if we can change a façade of a building and broadcast our mood, who says we can’t create our own “face” or “shape” the world around us as we see it? Soon people could wear “faces” based on the mood and the occasion—just as some people already change facial makeup daily. This could take the meaning of self expression to a whole new level, using all the body’s senses to engage with reality (and one that’s heavily augmented).

Plus, AR is not only about humans but also things. For example, could sensors be embedded in furniture so that it can “feel” and “see” and have “memory,” and how might such an innovation impact, say, crime investigations?

Perhaps, even our whole understanding of what the “real world” is will be redefined by the augmented-reality revolution and the crystalizing reality of the connected person. Instead of being confined to the physical world, our understanding of the real world might be informed by a combination of the physical and no-less-real, digital world.

I’m excited to be working for an organization that is at the forefront of AR innovation. The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) offers a platform for developers and users worldwide to innovate for open and interoperable augmented reality. Development and adoption of market-driven standards for AR stands to spur innovation and grow markets through economies of scale and wider market acceptance and uptake. Even today, IEEE has dozens of standards and standards-development projects to support the advancement of AR. And IEEE-SA Industry Connections is leading campaigns and projects to encourage AR toward its full potential as an enhancement to human life and information use.

The IEEE-SA is the connection fabric for technologists globally. Through the IEEE-SA, the world’s technologists tap into unmatched access to cross-disciplinary expertise across and beyond IEEE to work together to enable the connected person and all of its associated applications and capabilities such as augmented reality, “e-health,” the Internet of Things (Iot), cloud computing and the smart grid.

How do you see technologies are transforming our ways of life and our expectations? Send me an email, or leave a comment below.

Global, Open Standards for Cyber-security

Karen McCabe, IEEE Senior Director, Technology Policy and International Affairs

Among the world’s most serious economic and national-security challenges today is cyber-security, with implications across the many rights and civil liberties enjoyed by people throughout the world who engage in cyber-communications. Freedom of expression, freedom of association, economic opportunity and political discourse may be redefined by the course that bodies chart for cyber-security.

Cyber attacks on Internet commerce, vital business sectors and government agencies have grown exponentially. With such threats escalating in frequency and impact, security policy, technology and procedures need to evolve even more rapidly in order to stay ahead of the threats. Addressing such issues in a way that protects the tremendous economic and social value of the Internet—without stifling innovation, expansion to more users around the world and market growth—will demand globally open, transparent and inclusive approaches, especially in standards development.

The Internet is complex, both technologically and politically, and its stakeholders span technical disciplines and national borders. Furthermore, one of the peculiarities of the cyber-security challenge is that, while cyberspace is global, the freedoms that are protected by constitutional rights, human rights, cultural norms and legal institutions are defined by treaty or geographic boundaries. The distinction between the roles of technology standards and public policy must be better understood, and the goals and responsibilities of shapers of each must be more clearly delineated and defined.

In development of global technology standards for cyber-security, inclusivity and direct participation, broad consensus and transparency are particularly important characteristics—given that distrust and market fragmentation could so easily take root if the standards around, for example, encryption algorithms are developed via closed processes. Consequently, instead of standards developed for a particular set of stakeholders to address one industry or geographic region’s requirements and then exported for wider application, cyber-security demands a development environment aligned with the proven, core principles of global, open standardization:

  • Inclusivity and direct participation—Stakeholders from organizations of any size, any industry and any nation must be able to engage directly and equitably in global, open standards development for cyber-security.
  • Broad consensus—Standards development for cyber-security should engage a broad set of global stakeholders, without any single person or organization wielding undue power in the process.
  • Transparency—Development activities for cyber-security standards must be globally transparent and accountable and broadly recognized as such.

Because of the unique complexities of the Internet and cyber-security especially, a global commitment to multi-stakeholder standards development is needed to both successfully counteract evolving threats and engender ongoing international trust in the Internet as a foundational platform of commerce and wellbeing. The multi-stakeholder process—drawing from businesses, consumers, academia and civil society, as well as from government—has been instrumental to the Internet’s remarkable growth to date, and, through global, open standards development through the IEEE and a number of other organizations, its role will be crucial in cyber-security.

Please visit OpenStand to access resources; videos, Infographics, Whitepapers, and to sign up in show of support for Open Standards. To get involved with developing and maintaining open standards please visit IAB, W3C, IETF, ISOC, and IEEE.

Open ICT for an Open, Secure Internet

Karen McCabe, Senior Director, Technology Policy and International Affairs, IEEE Standards Association

The Internet of today, with its pervasive and expansive reach, has enabled transformational and impactful developments. It has enabled new levels of social engagement and networking. It has generated explosive opportunities in commerce and business development. It has evolved to a universal platform enabling unprecedented connection among world citizens, providing a powerful means for collective awareness, information sharing and problem solving. And all these elements coalescing as a contribution to the global knowledge community and setting the stage for a global wisdom community.

The “Internet Revolution” has given rise to increasing levels of connectivity that now go beyond the Internet to the Internet of Things and People. It has given rise to extraordinary open innovation, ideation and empowerment—fueled by connectedness and open access. But in a world of open innovation and collaboration, coupled with massive exchange and capture of data and information, and issues on how that data and information are being stored, accessed and used, we enter a world where we weigh the complex risk of such openness—risk to our security, privacy and anonymity—and concern that in addressing solutions we may hinder openness. The question prevails on how do we navigate the critical universal need for an open Internet and the right to protect privacy, ensure anonymity and safeguard world citizens.

There is much dialogue underway—including at the current ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14), —on building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) as part of the solution to these complex challenges. There are calls for all stakeholders—technologists, government leadership and policy makers alike—to work together for the continued evolution of ICTs to address the weaknesses and to increase capability, and to maintain interoperability and stability. With this, an open ICT ecosystem that embodies transparency and inclusiveness, and that is borderless, is important now more than ever to unlock creativity and unleash collaboration where all stakeholders work to leverage strengths, solve problems and innovate and build upon existing efforts.

Please visit OpenStand to access resources; videos, Infographics, Whitepapers, and to sign up in show of support for Open Standards. To get involved with developing and maintaining open standards please visit IAB, W3C, IETF, ISOC, and IEEE.

Internet of Things: The Dawn of a New Technology Era

Recognizing the value of IoT to industry and the benefits this technology innovation brings to benefit humanity, IEEE provides resources such as standards projects, events and newsletters that are directly related to creating the environment needed for a vibrant IoT network.

In addition, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Young Innovators Competition is partnering with the IEEE IoT Initiative for its latest challenge: Internet of Things for Social Good.

UntitledThe ITU Young Innovators Competition encourages young innovators between the ages of 18 and 30 to use their fresh thinking and creativity to provide solutions to real-world problems. The Internet of Things for Social Good, the latest challenge of the ITU Young Innovators Competition, is seeking ideas for new businesses and innovations that harvest the potential of the IoT to benefit society and improve the quality of life for people around the world. Innovators between the ages of 18 and 30 are encouraged to submit their ideas to the IoT Challenge before November 3, 2014 (23:59 CET).

Winners will receive an invitation to ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha, Qatar, December 7-10 to pitch their ideas in front of a high-level audience, as well as attend tailored workshops for innovators, mentoring sessions and networking events. In addition, winners have the chance to receive up to $5,000 in seed funding to turn their idea into a reality.

IoT technologies are on the cusp of impacting daily life; however, for successful, smooth implementation, much more research and work is needed. IEEE is working hard to drive the IoT industry with the IEEE IoT Initiative partnership with the ITU Young Innovators Competition and IEEE-SA’s IoT standards work being great examples.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the dawn of a new age of technology innovation, a movement towards highly integrated networks of sensors and embedded systems in devices incorporated into everything from appliances to clothing,” said Oleg Logvinov, chair, IEEE P2413 working group; and director, special assignments, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics. “Profound, positive changes are very likely to occur from the growing intersection of smart technologies and high-speed communications. It is this interconnection of anyone and anything at anytime with any service on any network that represents the lofty goal of IoT. “

IEEE P2413™ “Standard for an Architectural Framework for the Internet of Things” working group will develop a standard that will provide a robust architectural framework for the IoT to reduce market fragmentation, improve interoperability, and serve as a catalyst for continued IoT growth and advancement. Additionally, the group will address key issues of security, privacy and safety.

To learn more about IEEE P2413 please visit the working group website.

How Do We Keep the Ball Rolling?

Jodi Haasz, Technology Policy and International Affairs Liaison, IEEE Standards Association

The global information and communications technology (ICT) community is gathering through 7 November 2014 at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14), a treaty conference held every four years to elect the officers of the ITU and to assess its working mandate by the Member States. Critical issues in the ICT and Internet ecosystem will be addressed at PP-14, such as ensuring equitable communications across all markets globally, establishing trust in cyberspace, managing radio frequencies and the role standardization and the ITU. The IEEE-SA, as a leading developer of global, open technical standards, is following the dialogue and is participating in the conversation, and we would like to gather your thoughts and insights to bring your voice into the discussion. What do you think?

How can open standards play a role in helping enable and sustain an Internet environment for continued innovation and growth, while successfully addressing privacy and security concerns and contributing to a culture of trust?

Please visit OpenStand to access resources; videos, Infographics, Whitepapers, and to sign up in show of support for Open Standards. To get involved with developing and maintaining open standards please visit IAB, W3C, IETF, ISOC, and IEEE.

Why Open Standards Matter

Karen McCabe, Senior Director, Technology Policy and International Affairs, IEEE Standards Association

OpenStand—encapsulating a time-tested and common set of values that have been successfully utilized in global, open standards development for decades—celebrated its two-year anniversary in August 2014. The global, open development community was surveyed on how open standards have changed the world over the last 25 years. Among the responses:

“In technology development, open standards are the fundamental pillars for the worldwide economic growth and progression in all sectors of the economy.”

“Well, *without* open standards, the Internet as a whole would definitely have collapsed under the tremendous entropy created by the expansion of applications, network device roles, and different implementations. It is just amazing, given the end-to-end complexity, that it works so well, and that is due largely to the open standards. The whole process of developing and maintaining open standards has also helped to maintain the infrastructure and atmosphere for continued collaboration and cooperation between major technology and infrastructure providers over the years, as the Internet itself has increasingly become a venue for intense commercial competition.”

256x256-blue1The globally open standards approach that the OpenStand principles document has demonstrated agility, as witnessed in the development and deployment of Internet standards such as those developed by W3C, IETF and IEEE. The approach is driven by technical merit and harnesses global creativity and expertise through bottom-up collaboration, and it has a proven history of fueling the advancement of cutting-edge technology and empowering the rapid economic implementation of high-value, high-demand products and services with societal benefits. It drives technical innovation via processes that ensure direct, open participation—processes that are constructed to embrace different perspectives and interests in pursuing common goals. It produces standards developed without borders to ensure a better future for all.

Since the launch of the OpenStand movement, the goal has been to mobilize ongoing, global support for the application of open, market-driven principles in technology and standards development. Such principles are of paramount value in the policy discussions on Internet governance practices, and on a broader scale in addressing challenges and opportunities we face today related to rapid technological expansion and growth. Applying these principles will play an essential role in securing the future of open, inclusive, market-driven innovation as the world seeks to solve modern collaboration, standardization, security and privacy challenges in critical infrastructure.

As discussions continue in Internet-governance and at technology and policy intersection points, it is important to reinforce OpenStand precepts which should ground those discussions, including.

Direct participation—There should be no intermediaries between a good idea and the peer group that decides the start of a policy. Everybody, from anywhere, should be able to submit a proposal.

Due process—All participants should be provided a level playing field with equitable rules of engagement and opportunity for participation.

Broad consensus—Decisions should be made by either a majority or supermajority of participants, and no single person or entity should be able to wield undue power in the definition of policy.

Process transparency—Participants must be able to understand the rules of engagement, and appropriate audit trails should be in place.

Universal openness—All potential stakeholders globally should be provided with the opportunity to attend meetings, submit comments and engage in other ways.

The OpenStand principles and its precepts will help secure a future of open, market-driven innovation and unbounded growth around the Internet and beyond for generations to come.

Please visit OpenStand to access resources; videos, Infographics, Whitepapers, and to sign up in show of support for Open Standards. To get involved with developing and maintaining open standards please visit IAB, W3C, IETF, ISOC, and IEEE.

Tomorrow’s Wearables: Stylish Clothing That Doubles As Your Personal Advisor For…Well, Everything

Shuang Yu, Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing, IEEE Standards Association

In the 15th century, Italian Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci revealed yet another of his many brilliant concepts: a wearable mechanical device that could be used to measure the physical distance Roman soldiers traveled daily by foot. And with da Vinci’s remarkable vision, the world’s first pedometer was born.

Woman in Black waving Dress with binary and  ButterfliesFast-forward to 2014, dubbed “The Year of Wearable Technology”. From fitness trackers like FitBit and JawBone’s UP, to jewelry that lets you make music with the wave of a hand and smart socks that monitor the movements of Alzheimer’s sufferers, it’s amazing to see the diverse array of inventions the humble pedometer has spawned. And that the world of wearables has become fertile ground for innovative yet fashionable technologies with the promise to enhance our lives has never been so clear as it was at New York Fashion Week 2014.

Intelligent devices now make it possible to capture vast quantities of data about almost every facet of our daily lives – how we sleep, what we eat, when we exercise, and more. This wealth of data helps create a greater awareness of us, allowing personalized recommendations for improving our overall health, safety, and quality of life.

Nowhere is this trend more pronounced than in sports, health and wellness, and fitness. Accenture’s recent 2014 State of the Internet of Things study hailed health and fitness-oriented devices as a key driver in consumer adoption of wearables, citing an expected adoption rate of 43 percent within the next five years.

For example, Adidas has been working with AC Milan on a new system to track on-field data in real time. With sensors woven into base layer garments, coaches, trainers, and players can monitor key vital statistics – information that can then be leveraged to enhance overall performance. Ralph Lauren also recently announced that its own smart shirt would make its debut at the 2014 U.S. Open tennis championship. A sleekly designed compression shirt, the Polo Tech uses an accelerometer and gyroscope, along with other embedded sensors, to collect, store, and transmit biometric and psychometric data. Wearers can then analyze and use those results to up their game.

Beyond helping athletes to perform better, this year has also seen numerous new products designed to elevate people’s health and well-being. We now have contact lenses that use tiny sensors and a radio antenna thinner than a human hair to track glucose levels in diabetics. And then there’s the Mi Band fitness monitor and sleep tracker that also doubles as a security token for smartphones.

There’s an added benefit for these devices, too: by providing data that clearly illustrates real-world impacts of our day-to-day actions and choices, they make life easier for those whose job it is to coach, train, and heal us. In a recent Athletic Business Magazine interview, trainer Melissa DiLeonardo pointed to wearables as a “welcome asset” to her work, saying:

“Whether or not a wearable device is 100 percent accurate is moot. When people use a wearable, activity levels increase. It’s drawing attention to daily activity and giving them a little nudge. I can tell someone something over and over again, but until they see it or experience it personally, they might not make that change. When I’ve had clients begin wearing an activity tracker, the numbers start to make a lot more sense to them and drive them to be more motivated.”

As an ordinary consumer, I often feel like we need to have a professional or an expert on call (or become one ourselves) just to be able to meaningfully interpret the tidal wave of data being collected via wearables. I’m guessing that other average Joe’s out there neither know what to do with nor care about all of the diverse kinds of data that’s being sucked in by these devices. In fact, given the sheer volume of bits and bytes generated in today’s hyperconnected world, it might end up being a case of information overload.

As an end user, the last thing I need is for my devices to do a raw data dump and then leave me in the dark about how to interpret all of that information. How do I draw actionable conclusions from knowing how many steps I took in an hour? Since I’m not a health and fitness professional, I need my wearables to do the analysis for me. What would truly be valuable is if my wearables could give me personalized recommendations and suggestions – “put down that burger and run two more miles today instead” – based on the data being captured.

Oh, and if it’s not too much to ask? I’d like my wearables to be stylish, too. I want my devices and smart clothes to make me look good and coordinate with my wardrobe.

What if my favorite little black dress could also act as a personal nutritionist? A gown alerting me that if I eat another two scoops of ice cream, next week it’ll be too tight for me to wear is far more valuable than one that merely tells me two scoops of ice cream equals 500 calories. Or how about if my cute golf skort identifies that my hip rotation is the reason I have a push shot, then remedies that rotation – and my swing – by applying pressure to certain spots on my body, thereby guiding me correctly through the motion? Having a digital golf coach that provides personalized recommendations is much more helpful than just displaying what my club speed is.

Moreover, what if those glucose-monitoring contact lenses could work collaboratively with my pretty but comfortable activity-tracking maternity tee to determine whether I’m developing gestational diabetes? These two items together could then work symbiotically to deliver actionable intelligence and recommendations. For example, they could provide me with a daily menu based on my tastes, blood sugar levels, and food intake, as well as build a suggested workout tailored to my current physical condition and due date. What mother-to-be wouldn’t prefer having her life made easier by wearables that work cooperatively, than a collection of devices unable to talk to one another and providing only a list of raw statistics?

Wearables that produce encyclopedic volumes of facts, figures, and statistics but not consumable insights and solutions only aggravate the sensory overload we suffer due to the deluge of emails, messages, tweets, updates, posts, pins, Likes, and more, that we deal with on a daily basis. If however, a device provides everyday consumers like me with information that I can use to improve and simplify my life – and make me look chic while doing it – it will instantly win my heart and mind as a consumer…not to mention my wallet.

I’m very excited about the potential and opportunities that tomorrow’s world of wearables holds, including devices that can not only communicate with one another but can proactively deliver synergistic solutions that improve our lives. That’s a pretty tall order. One way to facilitate this future is through technology standardization. By uniting around common, industry-accepted standards, developers can better address interoperability challenges. That’s where IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), a global leading standards development organization that I work for, can help.

All of this might sound a bit lazy or like it could take all the fun out of learning new things. However, for the general public, it’s data-based solutions that matter, not the data itself. I don’t need to know every mechanical intricacy of how an engine operates in order to drive my car; rather, I just want that happy feeling I get from tooling around town in my vehicle (especially true if I get to drive one of those cool connected cars).

The process of developing wearables that provide a balance of utility and fashion with consumable insights is still in a nascent stage, but already there’s a new wave of enticing, innovative, and intriguing products coming into play. There’s trendy nail polish that can help you quit smoking, a chic bangle that suggests just the right amount of SPF skin lotion based on current UV levels, or my personal favorite, the chic Ringly smart ring that sends alerts from my smartphone right to my finger so I don’t miss any important messages while out on the town. And then there’s the Apple Watch, which combines health monitoring, home controls, and mobile payments functions into one.

As the year 2020 draws nearer, the size of meaningful computational devices will approach zero, giving us the ability to turn nearly anything into a computer. As processor, sensor, and even modem sizes continue to shrink, I believe we’ll see products that successfully combine fashion and function – as well as serving as a doctor, coach, nutritionist, and more – coming to life.

As Intel futurist Brian David Johnson put it when asked about the tech’s impact on fashion, “When it comes to self-expression, your guess is as good as mine. Humans love to express ourselves, and, when we have the ability to wear a computer, I can only imagine what we will do with it!”

How do you see the technology and fashion interact with each other moving forward? Send me an email, or leave a comment below.

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