Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took to the stage Wednesday to talk about his company’s vision of our future, and the role technology will play in our lives. He began the event by addressing the overwhelming and increasing pace of technological advancement he has witnessed in his 34-year career. “Moore’s Law is alive and well.”
But he insisted the nature of technology was changing. “Technology has extended far past consumer electronics”, Krzanich reflected, “it is extending into every experience we have today.” And now, as VR becomes more and more refined, technology can even offer totally new or otherwise unattainable experiences.
Using two examples, Krzanich perfectly illustrated this point: skydiving and scaling Mt. Everest. Obviously not everyone has the opportunity to do those things. Perhaps they can’t afford the trip to Nepal, or maybe they are physically hindered from doing so. But with VR they can make that climb. They can take that jump!
That is what gets me excited about VR: new experiences and shared experiences. The CES audience was about have a quite new, and very much shared experience. You see, this was not any press event. This was, according to Intel Spokeswoman Laura Anderson “the most technically difficult event we have ever done.”
Every single member of the audience was provided a Oculus Rift headset, with which they witnessed just how VR will change the way we experience Travel, Work, and Play.
First, we traveled to Utah where the audience took that skydive. They flew high above the Utah desert and finally parachuted gently to the sand below, all from the safety of their seats. The event spotted a young couple, both immersed in the VR experience, grasping each other’s hand tightly. They were sharing this new, amazing experience through VR. The tech brought them something new, and that brought them closer together.
Next we were off to Vietnam, for the world’s first VR walk around at the breathtaking Ban Gioc waterfalls near Hanoi. Krzanich brought out a partner: Ted Schilowitz, co-founder of Hype VR to talk about how volumetric video can give us immersive and interactive travel experiences.
The audience traveled around the world in thirty seconds, and we didn’t even have to lift a finger. But that doesn’t mean it’s not hard work, each frame of the Ban Gioc video contains 3gb per frame.
Next, Kraznich showed us how VR changes the way we work by making difficult or dangerous tasks safer and more efficient. In this case study, we take on the persona of an inspector who must examine individual solar panels in a 2,000-acre array in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
By utilizing a drone, and VR tech, an inspector can cover a much larger area much more comfortably, from an amazing distance with incredible efficiency. Krzanich also noted that a similar setup could be used in a search and rescue scenario to save human lives.
Last, but certainly not least, the Intel CEO wanted to talk entertainment. Krzanich described giving the entertainment consumer the power to choose how they want to watch a concert or sporting event. Giving us a front row seat, right in our living rooms. The audience was then transported to college basketball game where they could even select which camera they wanted to view the game from. A totally consumer controlled viewing experience. I may never leave the couch.
Truly, this was a unique event, which highlighted the many ways VR will shape all aspects of our lives in the years to come; by giving us new ways to experience each other and the world we live.