“Interaction with immersive technologies is intended to be intuitive and natural,” explains Nguyen. “For example, you could use a head-mounted display with an AI-powered assistant to help assemble furniture. Because your hands are busy holding parts and tools, texting, swiping and gesturing are out of the question. So you ask the assistant ’What part am I holding?,’ ’What step is next?’ or ’Where does this piece fit?’ The assistant understands your question, but also understands context. The AI assistant can deliver the answer back to you via voice or text and images on your display.”
Avoid the hype
“It’s important to not overpromise on what the offerings will be in the next few years. While we’ll see improvement for both AI and immersive technologies in 2018, the market has been guilty of overhyping AI and immersive technologies,” says Nguyen. “Let’s not repeat that mistake, but instead consider immersive technologies to be in their adolescence — they are adolescent, but gifted and talented.”
“ As the digital realm continues to grow, immersive technologies are the next logical step for the marketplace.”
An additional proviso is to remember that neither AI nor immersive technologies have yet to be widely adopted by enterprises: A recent Gartner survey found that 59% of organizations are still gathering information about AI, while 37% of the respondents to the 2018 Gartner CIO Agenda survey said that while AR/VR is on their radar, no action is planned.
Take it to the edge
Immersive technologies require processing power, yet organizations cannot rely solely on the cloud to drive it. Uploading and downloading from the cloud takes too much time. Imagine an autonomous car losing its wireless connection on a highway, and you’ll understand why immersive technologies devices require local computing power.
Called edge computing, these systems perform data processing at the edge of their network, near the source of their data. “We can predict that edge computing will be a requisite to aggregate and interpret data for applications requiring high speed and bandwidth with low latency,” says Nguyen.
Although this may sound like a leap backward to those desktop PCs of the past, it isn’t. Edge devices are at optimum speed intended for portable data centers, built for AI. Enterprises are moving into the edge computing space, and this area could potentially become a multi-billion-dollar market.
“As the digital realm continues to grow, immersive technologies are the next logical step for the marketplace. Look for this area to develop into something quite real in the next five years,” Nguyen says.