Charlie Fink's Metaverse
at the time of publication
Charlie Fink, who covers VR & AR for Forbes, brings thirty-five years of experience as an entertainment and technology executive to what he calls “the greatest business and technology story of our time”. He and his collaborators have created a guide to emerging VR & AR that is engaging to professionals, accessible to non-technical readers, and relentlessly entertaining to everyone.
The big picture that you need to be in the right place to profit from Augmented and Virtual Realities
“The killer app is other people.” These are the words at the beginning of Charlie Fink’s excellent book giving the big picture of augmented and virtual realities and where those technologies are heading. If you are a developer or other interested party and are curious about HoloLens, Oculus Rift, and similar technologes, this book by Charlie and his fellow contributors will help you get the lay of the land. You’ll learn the terminolgy, the techniques, the history, and various viewpoints on where things are headed.
I agree with Charlie’s view on the killer app. It’s about the people. Perhaps it’s always been so. Certainly the past two decades in computing technology have been drivin by connecting with “other people”. Prodigy, AOL, eMail, Usenet, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter, these are the exploding technologies and products driving us to buy and be glued to our smart phones and laptop screens as we build rich networks of friendships that wouldn’t exist without the technology. If it is compelling to stand in a boarding line at an airport and see your children’s photos scroll by on Facebook, then how much more it will mean to put on some glasses in your hotel room and be in the moment with your family back home.
That said, some of what’s in the book seems a little farfetched. I am not sure how close we are to being able to give and feel a virtual handshake with someone a thousand miles distant. Still, we need the dream. It’s these dreams that press us forward and give focus to our efforts to expand what the technology is capable of.
There’s so much confusion over terminology due to vendors jockying for mindshare and marketshare. Is Mixed Reality a thing? What makes Mixed different from Augmented? Two of my favorite chapters in the book are the two by Stephanie Llamas and Charlie at the beginning that set straight the terminology and cut through the war of words and confusion from the vendors. I am old enough to have reached Grumpy Old Man status, and I think Charlie is too. You’ll appreciate his forthrightness at the end of Chapter 2.
Augmented realty holds a lot of promise. I’m fond of the industrial use cases that are quietly on the increase but aren’t yet quite visible to the man on the street. There’s a lot happening. It’s important to keep up and have the big picture in mind. This book provides that picture, as well as some vision on where you’ll want to be standing so that you’ll be in the right place when the gold arrives.