Adrian Cheok: Making a Huggable Internet
An inventor builds gear to transmit touches, tastes, and more
By ELIZA STRICKLAND
By ELIZA STRICKLAND
1) What kinds of technologies realise the ‘reality-virtuality coexistence’ in our daily life?
– Adrian:A process of hyperconnectivity, afforded by such technologies as cloud computing and social media is merging the physical reality and digitaldata.
– Howard: Fundamentally we are talking about video, mobility and cloud. This presumes affordable broadband services with infinite bandwidth.
– Genevieve: It’s more about the experiences supported/enabled by various technologies (e.g. mobile phones, social networks) than technologies themselves. In fact, experiencing virtual worlds is not strictly about technologies- take religious rituals for example.
2) Where is this zeitgeist heading and how will they shape our future?
– Adrian: in a direction that encompasses more of our senses and feelings. Our social networks may extend beyond humans to an emotional/non-verbal communication between humans, their environments, devices and objects.
– Howard: mixed reality technologies will be applied more extensively to the such areas – but not limited to – as virtual training, immersive teaching/learning. These virtual reality-supported learning experiences will increase competence, success and well being in many of our activities.
– Genevieve: The ways for ‘social networking’ will become more diversified,and new modes of digitally enhanced social engagements will continue to emerge. Cultural, social and regulatory frameworks will play an important role in this process.
3) How we can make AR/MR become more humanised and sustainable?
– Adrian: The use of visual, auditory, haptic, olfactory and gustatory senses will enable a new paradigm of more humanised telecommunication. This field has a long way to go, but it would be especially interesting to see how children will grasp these technologies to create value.
– Howard:Are AR/MR technologies about creating alternative realities or enhancing the ‘real world’? – it should be about extending and enhancing our physical world. When used for learning and training, AR/MR can prove to be powerful tools for creativity, innovation, collaboration and productivity.
– Genevieve: We are moving from command-control interactions with technology to possibilities of forming ‘relationships’ with them. Siri for example promises to ‘listen’ and gives us a sense of being taken care of. We might imagine a relationship in which humans and technologies are effectively bound to each other.
World Economic Forum 2012 – A Game Changing Year (by YGL Alumni). Young Global Leader Adrian David Cheok is interviewed about Augmented Reality as a Game Changer in 2012. Other interviewees in the video include Aung San Suu Kyi, Ian Solomon (World Bank), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Salman Khan (Khan Academy),
“I believe we need to move from the age of information, which we have reached today, into the age of experience,” he says. A 2007 project extended the chicken research to children: The Huggy Pajama allows faraway parents to give their kid a remote good-night hug by pressing an input module’s buttons. In user surveys, parents and children reported higher levels of emotional engagement thanks to the huggy system. Now Cheok’s working on a commercial product that would let a user send a squeeze—and a warm thought—to the ring on a loved one’s finger. He hopes to have a prototype ready by the start of 2013.
Haptics are just the beginning. Cheok has a “digital lollipop” in the works that electrically and thermally stimulates the tongue to produce basic flavors—bitter, sour, salty, sweet. He dreams of a system that would let friends in Paris send you a taste of their wine over the Internet. “The ultimate Internet,” he says, “will integrate all our senses.”