Let’s look back at how far we have come. A decade ago, when I started exploring the possibilities of mobile video, the phones people carried in their bags for communication purposes when away from home or office were too bulky for a pocket. The cameras with which most people took photos exposed film (only the early adopters had digital cameras), and personal video required either a webcam tethered to a computer by a USB cable or a brick the size of a paperback book (we were still reading print on paper).
We’ve been through many iterations since those days. Today we communicate with a computer we carry in our pocket and call a “smart phone” that has nearly 20 sensors. And a MEMS video sensor (aka a camera) can be embedded into wearable device. The whole wearable display space has burst open since Google introduced Glass.
We still hear people asking Why do I need that? What is the value? Will all this technology be harmful?
The best way I’ve found to answer is an example. When was the last time you changed a tire or repaired a piece of complex machinery you have never seen before? There are people thinking of new ways to use the latest wearable displays and mobile networks. Those focusing on enterprise solutions are leading the charge because businesses that save money or time will invest.
A good example of this is Entervise, a hardware and software platform that takes a Motorola Solutions HC1 heads-up display, wraps an intelligent suite of tools around it and offers field service people a way to save time and lower risk. With Entervise’s solution deployed a remote expert can look over the shoulder of the person in front of the problem and guide them through a rare and difficult series of steps. Watch this YouTube video published in May 2012.
Verizon was demonstrating this technology at CES 2013. I was reminded of that when I heard about problems network operators are having providing Plain Old Telephony Service (POTS) in remote areas of the world.
How has this technology improved over the past year? How far does it need to go for widespread deployment? Hope you can look over my shoulder while I’m visiting Verizon’s booth again in 2014.