The Future of AR with John Werner | Singularity Hub | Exponential Manufacturing


(upbeat music) – John, can you, zoom me out, can you just tell me a bit about your work specifically at Meta and what Meta does with augmented reality? – So we developed a
headset that you put on and you’re fully immersed, 90 degree field of view
and you could see holograms and you could move them around. And we’re excited as you go
from desktop, laptop, mobile, we think the next interface
with technology is gonna be augmented reality, where you see the physical world and you get digital information on it. And in terms of productivity,
collaboration, manufacturing, there are ton of opportunities. And the world has sorta been, I think captivated by virtual reality, where you have a screen in front of you and you’re taken to another place, and that’s really cool, but I think it’s augmented
reality that’s gonna have more of an impact for the types of people that are coming here and that eventually, virtual reality is gonna
be a feature of a device. It’s gonna allow you to switch back and forth between augmented
and virtual reality. And I think it’s a really exciting time and we’ve been kind of
held hostage by rectangles or by keyboards, and the keyboard is defined
by how movable type was put. So a movable typist could take a letter and know exactly what letter they got ’cause they’re so small and
when they created the typewriter they actually moved the
keys to be inefficient so they didn’t jam and
that’s how we communicate with computers. And yet our eye can take in ten to the eighths bits
per second of information. And so let’s think through neuroscience and how the eye works to
really create an interface that is smart. The other factor that’s
converging is that AI or I like to call it EI,
extended intelligence, artificial intelligence. – No I love that, extended
intelligence, yeah. – And that as you create a
headset or a strip a glass or even a mobile device where you can get digital
information on the physical world, using AI to inform you
on what you’re looking at and then how to handle the information, so it becomes more of an extension of you, not something you’re subservient to. – Yeah I think virtual reality does have a lot of limitations and
augmented or mixed reality opens up so much, also
that’s very powerful here. Can you talk a bit about
how augmented reality is impacting the world of design. – [John] Just last week at Dell World, Nike produced a video
using the Meta headset and it had a number of
employees designing a sneaker. So people that weren’t
located in the same place had the headset on and were
manipulating a sneaker, they were designing the
color, the form factor, and so people who are
not co-located could work together simultaneously and
instead of using a 2D screen, they’re looking at the object in 3D. Instead of using a typewriter,
keyboard, or a mouse, they’re using their hands
to manipulate the object. And so I think as humans
we’re very creative, we have a lot of ideas, and this is just a great
tool to be able to work with. And the fact that you could see the world as you’re designing, and then you get this digital information means that you could do it for
an extended period of time. So while VR can take you somewhere, you’re not gonna wanna
be there for 24 hours, you’re not gonna wanna be there
for a long part of the day. And designers who wanna design things whether it’s a part for
a, you know aerospace, or a Nike sneaker, this is something that they could do for an extended amount of time. – [Interviewer] And so it
literally augments their current reality instead of having
to pull them out of it? – [John] Yeah. – And so augmented reality is definitely still a pretty new
technology, where do you think we might be in five to 10 years with it? Or what roadblocks might we need to pass to get to that next level? – So augmented reality is
pretty new in some ways, it’s also not so new in other ways. L. Frank Baum who wrote The Wizard of Oz, before he wrote The Wizard of Oz, wrote a book that referenced
a form of augmented reality. Few miles from here Ivan
Sutherland in 1968 at Harvard wanted to see a teapot three-dimensional and he created a device
called The Swords of Damocles to be able to see it. And it wasn’t that he was out to create The Swords of Damocles, it was that he just
wanted to see this teapot that he could see right in front of him. That ended up becoming the
basis of the Pixar business and I think the military
with heads-up displays that fighter jet pilots wear or today if you get in a Boeing 787, as they’re flying there’s
less dials around, there’s screens that
help people get around. So what’s interesting
about augmented reality is a lot of the technologies
that roll up into it, imaging, the computer vision, the Moore’s law, the chip, the Cloud, like all these technologies are maturing. – They’re maturing, yeah. – So if you add them altogether, you can create a device
that’s pretty robust, except we haven’t come
up with the use cases, we haven’t come up with
the killer apps for them. So to say that this is new technology, it’s actually technology
that’s been around and that is ready and it’s
really what our imaginations can come up with, what we can do with it. – Yeah when you talk
about the applications, I think definitely there’s
been discussion of VR and AR, where are we with hype verse reality. So I think it’ll be
interesting in the coming years to see what concrete
applications are developed. So the last question I
wanted to ask you is, there are some misconceptions
around augmented reality, there’s been some scary
science fiction films created about people
thinking that their reality is actually one that is an
augmented reality application. What do you think like are some
of the common misconceptions within this technology? – Yeah, no, good question. I mean there are a lot
of science fiction novels around the dystopian future and augmented reality
technologies in that. I think, in terms of being
confused with this is real, this is not, I think it’s
more virtual reality. I think there are ways
that augmented reality can play a role with that, but I think augmented
reality we’re more in the driver’s seat. And here we are at a summit
that’s bringing together manufacturers and they
wanna think about design, manufacturing, safety, repair,
and how we can use tools to help be more efficient,
help increase cycle time, help make things safer. To me I think, let’s
figure out some use cases in an industry and show what this is and have this technology be defined about what it can do as
opposed to being defined by bad things, so I’m
excited for that future. – Definitely, I think that focus on like what the technology can do is so much more applicable and vital. John thank you so much for coming up here and talking with us on
the Singularity stage. – Great yeah, love Singularity. Singularity’s great. – You hear it from him, I didn’t make him say that.
– No it’s really cool.

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