|By Drew Bartkiewicz||
|March 13, 2013 12:00 PM EDT||
Augmented reality (AR) is coming, not for flash or fashion (sorry Google Glass), but because of the overload of big data bombarding the human mind, in work and in our lives.
We are about to reach a tipping point in the evolution of information technology, sparked by the intersection of big data and the natural capacity of the human mind and body to think, and accomplish our life's tasks.
Since 1995, data is being produced, processed, and aggregated at such volumes that we are now reaching diminishing returns in our worker's ability to actually do something with it. The average company doubles its data every year but us humans have not doubled our cognitive and critical thinking capacities at the same rate, nor have we learned to type, text, write, or tweet exponential paces either. The data wave is above our head and we can barely breathe.
We are admittedly faster with technology than we were ten years ago, but not fast enough to maintain the current paradigm of a device-centric world where the human factors have been left behind. In general are still having to work for technology, to adapt to it, reach for it, rather than have the technology work for us.
The principal reason we are lagging in data actionability is because the bulk of data is entered, generated, processed, and displayed on the machines' terms, not ours'. Look at us. We reach for technology, we divert for it; we even put ourselves in harm's way for it. We have had to walk, work, and drive in dangerous "heads down" ways, looking for that email, that direction, that map and link. The data we need to be productive is being delivered & captured in technology's terms not humans'. The machines – and the big data they move - are stunting us because we have not figured out how to make the machines work for us, adapt to us, in hands free and more natural ways.
So we are at that tipping point in 2013. Big data - through its sheer volume - will actually be the trigger that drives a massive adoption to Augmented Reality, where the display of data and the capture of content are delivered in more natural and hands free methods. This human liberation will happen not because of any fashion trend nor consumer whim. The shift will happen because American productivity in the workforce will require it.
In fact, the next wave of American productivity requires a world of more wearable technology, data by human design, which means a smarter way to present data and content onto our physical world, in full context of where we are and what we are doing. In that world of wearable technology, context is king, which then finally arms the American worker with the right information, in the right amount, at the right time - all without having to physically deviate so much to get it.
Acknowledging companies like APX-Labs in Herndon, VA, the "business of hands-free" is moving right along to bring smart glasses applications to the people that need them most: the information employees of 2013 who actually do things with their hands (nurses, doctors, soldiers, manufacturers, and even journalists).
Looking ahead, the companies that quickly bring smart glasses into the hands-free functions of their more mobile employees will make the vital data flows of their employees more actionable, more efficient, and by default, more human. And who wouldn't want to experience that? Time to put the Big Mind on the same cycle as Big Data, but on the minds' terms.
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