Entrepreneur and Investor
Are you ready? Me too! So… How do we get there?
To explain, let’s approach from each side of the physical-digital divide.
From Physical → Digital
To be honest, the Internet of Things is a pretty confusing/lame term. But, it represents a very powerful movement. It means every physical device and environment comes loaded with sensors and connected to the internet. When networked objects (like your fridge, thermostat, water bottle, chair…) collect and transmit data, we become aware of their condition and can program them just like we do websites. The world around us becomes just another programmable interface, ripe for continuous improvement to create a killer user experience. For example:
- People sensors monitor local lunch spots and show you wait times. Promotions are sent out in real-time to drive customers during lulls.
- Networked driverless cars speed through intersections at 200mph with incredible precision, completely aware of weather conditions, other cars and objects in their vicinity…and how late you are to pick up the kids.
From Digital → Physical
Virtual reality is one of the most exciting technologies around today. The promise of VR lies in its ability to create a sense of presence for the user. The deeper you immerse someone and engage her senses, the stronger the sense of presence you deliver. To date, nearly all capital and resources invested in VR are dedicated to your visual and auditory senses. When you pop on an Oculus Rift, you’re teleported to another world. But, your presence is limited to your eyes and ears. You’re merely a spectator in the digital world.
In time, VR will engage your other senses. You’ll be able to touch, throw, smell, even taste digital objects. VR will allow sensory immersion into a digital world that feels physically real.
- You’ll swim through a pool of Jello, feeling drag created by the viscous liquid as you dive deep.
- Be Subzero for real. Finish him!
- Step into a virtual world and physically shake hands over a business deal or give a loved one across the world a big hug or…
All of these things and much more will be possible by the collision of our physical and digital worlds. Instead of developing apps, we’ll develop virtual experiences that feel real. And we’ll program the world around us to fulfill our personal needs and desires. It’s going to be awesome.
Amit Kapur is the Founder and Managing Partner of Dawn Patrol Ventures, and is a member of HaptX’s Board of Directors. He loves building startups. Amit was the CEO of Gravity (acquired by AOL) and COO of MySpace (acquired by News Corp). He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Stanford.