Currently, technology connects with two of our senses (sight and sound). A study conducted by mobile manufacturer Ericsson, indicates that consumers expect an ‘Internet of Senses’ by the year 2030. This will include the ability to digitally transfer thoughts, have wearables that can immediately translate languages and experience taste, smell, touch, and temperature. As we progress further into this virtual world, it will require hyper-fast connections and advanced automation.
This vision doesn’t only come from anticipated technological developments but also on research. Tech enthusiasts and early adopters anticipate that we will be using all of our senses online by 2030. Of those 40% think that immersive and virtual entertainment will be the main cause for change and innovation. 31% believe that the change will come as a result of necessity such as the climate crisis.
The big 5 tech companies – alongside niche companies are predicted to dominate and run half of all Internet of Senses services by 2030.
Brain = User Interface
By 2030, tech is set to be thought-responsive and could even share them with others. The development of brain-controlled technology may eventually replace traditional input devices – mouses, keyboards and controllers. Users will only need to think of commands……. Smartphones could function with no touchscreens.
Of course, such rapid advancements come with red flags and inevitable downsides. Our thoughts will be fully accessible by technology and our minds will be part of the connected world. As we have seen from recent data scandals, policies and regulations do not advance as quickly as technology and care needs to be taken not to advance without adequate and protective infrastructure. Privacy and integrity will need to be taken to higher levels, people will not want to give advertisers to access their minds. It’s already fairly creepy when you book google flights to the Caribbean and the next minute Facebook advertising assumes you’re a travel writer. This is indeed an area that will require some serious thought.
So this gets weirder…… Can you ever imagine that putting a device in your mouth that would digitally enhance your taste capacity? Anything could taste exactly as you want. 44% of the early adopters in the Ericsson research report believe this could happen by 2030!
Let’s imagine what this could mean for both health and diet. Basically, everyone’s dream can come true……. You could eat sprouts and essentially taste chocolate! Along with smell (we’re coming to that part), taste has so much influence on how we remember past events. Our childhoods are a reminder of special treats and home cooked food. As a result of this, these memories will be enhanced by the utlisation of digital taste. Pictures from parties or restaurants in the past won’t just bring back a memory based on sight and sound, you would also be able to savour the tastes.
We have all tried the promotional food samples that they have in grocery stores – which enable people to ‘try before you buy’. If you’re like me, you’ll have a cheeky taste without actually intending to buy. If taste sensations become a reality, there will be a revolution in online shopping, consumers would have the ability to taste samples from their devices. Cooking programs could actually allow you to experience the taste of the food onscreen!
Currently, smell is almost impossible to convey digitally – but this is all expected to change. Smell affects us directly and intensely. For example – when you buy a new car, car manufacturers want you to experience that new car smell. Coffee shops always smell so much better than the stuff you buy in the supermarket.
Of course, current online experiences do not include that of scent but consumers predict the sense of smell to be an integral part of the internet by 2030. Over half of the world’s population live in cities and away from nature. Consequently our desires for natural experiences are increasing. It is expected to be able to virtually visit forests or natural areas to encounter all the smells and aromas of such places.
For consumers, the easiest to imagine feature is the impact that sound has on a physical level. Tech enthusiasts foresee that earphones would be able to digitally transfer the physical experience of a live concert to their chests.
It is also thought that smartphones with screens, will convey the shape and texture of the digital icons and buttons when they are pressed. The ability to experience digital and virtual textures has the potential to go much further than the screens of our smartphones. It’s anticipated that by 2030, wristbands that stimulate our nerves will be available so that we can feel any digital object and even the weather.
What to expect from Facebook’s smart glasses
During Facebook’s recent earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the company’s next hardware release will debut the tech giant’s collaboration with Ray-Ban eyewear on a pair of augmented reality glasses.
The long-awaited Ray-Ban “smart glasses” were supposed to launch in 2021. However, as a steep plunge in COVID-19 cases forced most of the world into a lockdown, a lot of tech firm’s plans changed.
“Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with EssilorLuxottica,” Facebook head and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “The glasses have their iconic form factor, and they let you do some pretty neat things.”
The “neat things” Zuckerberg is talking about remains a mystery. However, the smart glasses concept came up while Zuckerberg was describing his outlook on Facebook’s future, which includes a virtual reality unlike no other.
“I’m excited to get these into people’s hands and to continue to make progress on the journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future,” Zuckerberg expressed.
Considering Zuckerberg’s comments on the release didn’t satisfy tech fan’s curiosity, CNET spoke with Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of AR/VR hardware, who explained that they’re indeed smart glasses, but not AR glasses as Facebook has said so far.
“We’re being careful not to call them augmented reality glasses. When you’re overlaying digital artifacts onto the world, that’s really augmented reality. These aren’t augmented reality glasses. However, they do a lot of the concepts we think will eventually be critical for augmented reality glasses,” Bosworth said.
The features of the smart glasses aren’t all unique. However, as much as it’s ironic to state, Bosworth made it clear that one of the things Facebook is looking at for all their AR, starting with the smart glasses, is how can they help users be more present.
This isn’t the first attempt a major tech company produces smart glasses, as Google did quite a stir back in 2014 following the release of “Google Glass,” which was a bold move, but failed nonetheless.
The idea seemed exciting, but eventually transformed into an online meme. Besides, many weren’t keen with the idea of having a tech tool constantly emitting radiations at face level.
The road to actual AR glasses could take more time than anticipated, while other tech giants hunt after similar goals.
The Ray-Ban glasses coming this year will be a steppingstone into Zuckerberg’s “metaverse” vision for Facebook, but they likely won’t do as much as we’d like to believe.
Facebook profits top $10B as its CEO exalts the ‘metaverse’
Concerns about a revenue growth slowdown pushed Facebook’s shares lower in after-hours trading Wednesday, not long after the company reported that its second-quarter profits doubled thanks to a massive increase in advertising revenue.
But CEO Mark Zuckerberg set his sights far beyond the second half of 2021, exalting what he sees as the next phase of how people experience the internet. What the rest of the world might know as augmented and virtual reality with a dash of science fiction, Zuckerberg and others are calling “the metaverse,” a futuristic and somewhat vague notion that encompasses AR, VR and new, yet-to-be-imagined ways of connecting to one another via technology.
Zuckerberg expects the metaverse to be the next big thing after the mobile internet, although he’s had a spotty track record when it comes to predicting major trends of the near future. At Facebook’s f8 conference four years ago, for instance, Zuckerberg predicted a future where you will sit in your bedroom wearing a headset and take a virtual vacation with faraway friends and family, or use your smartphone’s camera to virtually spruce up your dinky apartment.
So far, this has not materialized. Then there’s Libra — now known as Diem — a cryptocurrency project Facebook launched in 2019 amid great fanfare. At the time, Facebook envisioned Libra as an emerging global digital currency; its ambitions have since been scaled back considerably amid regulatory and commercial backlash.
In a conference call with analysts, Zuckerberg called the metaverse the “next generation of the internet and next chapter for us as a company,” one that he said will create “entirely new experiences and economic opportunities.”
For now, though, Facebook still has to contend with more mundane matters such as antitrust crackdowns in the U.S. and elsewhere as well as concerns about how it handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform. The company said, as it has before, that it expects challenges in its ability to target ads this year — including regulatory pressure and Apple’s privacy changes that make it harder for companies like Facebook to track people who can opt out of that form of surveillance.
Although the social network doubled its profit in the second quarter, in part because of higher average prices it charged for the ads it delivers to its nearly 3 billion users. But the company said it doesn’t expect revenue to continue to grow at such a breakneck pace in the second half of the year.
“This quarter’s results are extremely strong and show little sign of impact from Apple’s iOS update as of yet,” said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson, noting that in the year-ago quarter Facebook saw its slowest revenue growth since going public, so it was an easy comparison. “But it’s also due to the fact that there is enormous demand for Facebook and Instagram advertising, and more competition leads to higher ad prices.”
Separately, Facebook said on Wednesday that it will make vaccines mandatory for employees in the U.S. who work in offices. Exceptions will be made for medical and other reasons. Google announced a similar policy earlier in the day.
The Menlo Park, California-based company earned $10.39 billion, or $3.61 per share, in the April-June period. That’s up from $5.18 billion, or $1.80 per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 56% to $28.58 billion from $18.32 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $3.04 per share and revenue of $24.85 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.
Advertising revenue growth was driven by a 47% year-over-year increase in the average price per ad and a 6% increase in the number of ads shown to people. Facebook said it expects ad prices, not the amount of ads it delivers, to continue to drive growth.
The company predicted uncertainty for 2021 back in January, saying its revenue in the latter half of the year could face significant pressure. Because revenue grew so quickly in the second half of 2020, Facebook said at the time that it could have trouble keeping up that pace.
Williamson said the third quarter will be an important one for the company, “as the full effects of the Apple update take hold.”
“We will have a much better sense of how well Facebook has been able to adjust its core ad targeting products to manage the reduced amount of information it can tap into,” she said.
Facebook had 2.9 billion monthly users as of June, up 7% from a year earlier.
Shares fell $11.77, or 3.2%, to $373.28 in after-hours trading. Earlier in the day, the stock hit an all-time high of $377. 55 in anticipation of the results, so the decline wasn’t unexpected.
This request is not new, as the Big Tech revealed earlier in May that developers must declare their safety information within a deadline between October and April.
However, Google decided this week to provide more details on the kind of data developers need to provide for the new mandatory policy.
The app policies will allow users to view safety and privacy guidelines before downloading the app, which will let them understand how their data is collected, protected, and used in advance.
The safety section on the Play Store will require app developers to disclose their security practices, including information on data encryption, whether an app follows Google’s families policy, and whether users will have a choice to share data.
The safety section is currently due to start appearing in app descriptions in the first quarter of 2022.
Google in a blog post disclosed screenshots of what the safety section might look like. Yet, the company said that the design is subject to change.
There’s also a “see details” option to get more specifics on what collected data is used for, and whether the collection is essential for using the app.
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