What does Greta and VR/AR mean for our future?

There is a strong young girl that sets off emotions, good and bad, in people, her name is Greta and she is from my home country Sweden. Greta is talking about the climate and she wants us to increase our efforts to take better care of our planet. IMHO opinion the trolls out there probably does not like Greta because what she makes them feel about themselves, maybe not doing what they should to take care of our planet. There is a lot more to say about both Greta and the climate, but I want to talk about this in combination with the great evolution and awesome potential of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

Most of you are familiar with VR, a simulation using googles and other aids to make the experience as realistic as possible, but in a completely simulated world. AR builds upon that but actually combines elements from the simulated world (VR) with what is in the real world. Thinking about VR and AR many people automatically think about games or futuristic movies. However, some people are also aware of the great possibilities that comes with these emerging digital technologies.

The climate issue is a great first example. One of the major climate offenders is transportation such as airplanes, gasoline driven vehicles and boats. I know that I, as well as most people, can travel less, especially for work. However, it is simply not possible to never physically spend time in the same room as team members, clients or partners. I speak from experience, you will simply not get the results you need by only doing Skype calls, using emails and other collaboration tools. At some point quality time, face-to-face, is needed.

Let us for a second imagine that we create a team room, with white boards, post it notes, LEGO® and other tools for collaboration. This room is not physical, its virtual. Some members might actually be physically in a similar room, but most team members can be just about anywhere in the world. Team members use VR/AR equipment and suddenly we are all in the same room. Using these tools, we can interact in almost exactly the same manner as if we were all together. Taking this further, we can even spend the entire day like this, sitting together virtually in the same room. For me personally this would eliminate more or less 80-90% of all business travel. It is not possible to replace all meetings with VR/AR but certainly the vast majority if you really make an effort. Also, how about having a virtual Sunday dinner with the family every week, I would LOVE that!

Now consider what this could do for education. The best teachers in the world, congresses with great speakers, all happening in AR/VR, with participants from all over the world. Low or no costs since we eliminate the travel factor, this makes great education, with great content, shared by great people, widely available. Could you even imagine doing the networking in AR/VR, mingling with people from all over our planet in a joint virtual space.

I do not know about you guys, but I am very excited about all this and what we can do. We are already there, this is actually possible today, however it needs to evolve a bit and most of all, to reach its full potential we need to grow the usage base to lower prices and boost the availability.

Try for yourself, buy a cheap 3D-box for your cell phone, install a VR-app and start dreaming of what this great technology can do together with clever people, smart processes and great organizations.

The future is so bright I gotto wear… ahum… AR/VR-googles?

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