Profits at the Intersection of the Digital and Physical World

There’s no doubt that we’re at the early stages of a changing world.

It’s the backdrop for greatest advancement in technology is history.

The most noticeable impact that you’ll find is what we call ‘immersive technology’.

This trend has been building for a few years now. And a number of companies are set to benefit from it. The whole concept of immersive technology boils down to the fact that our digital and physical worlds are converging. It’s changing everything.

It’s a world built on data and information, not out there for everyone to use, but tailored for you and how you exist in the world. Your devices and systems will be ‘stitched’ together wirelessly to help you through the world and to make life simpler and better.

From Work to Home, It’s All Connected

This all starts in the home. No longer is the home just a structure to provide warmth and shelter. The home is as alive as you are. Of course it doesn’t have biological parts; that’s just crazy! But the home comes alive as it connects to everything in and around it… including you and your family.

Let me explain a bit more.

Your home ‘talks’ to you. It will tell you when it needs cleaning. It will anticipate your arrival and make itself warm or cool for you. It’ll turn on the lights…even run the bath for you.

You can customize everything. Room by room you can apply different lighting, climate, audio, and manage devices. But the real exciting part will be when your home behaves intuitively, providing you with things before you even know you want them. And it’s not just the home.

The sensors on your body monitoring your health know before you do that you’re getting sick.

Or maybe they can sense heightened stress levels and automatically run you a hot bath or play some soothing music.

Or think about the end of a tough day at the office. You’d love nothing more than to come home to warm house, a meal ready to go, and to be able to relax from the moment you pulled into the driveway.

Remember, this isn’t the 1950s. You can’t always expect your partner to have dinner ready when you get home. He or she probably has a job, and would like the same pampering when they get home too.

Well immersive technology has the potential to solve this problem.

“The whole concept of immersive technology boils down to the fact that our digital and physical worlds are converging.”

You leave the office for the 30-minute drive home. The GPS in your car and your smartphone both speak to your house. They let it know based on current traffic conditions you’ll be there in 15 minutes.

This tells your network-connected thermostat at home to run on Eco-Mode to warm the house to 20 degrees in precisely 15 minutes time.

Not only that, but as you left the office you chose a meal on your smartphone for dinner. The app spoke to your home, which in turn spoke to the fridge and oven.

Your kitchen is connected. The fridge visually recognizes the food by barcodes or any other identification on the packaging and then passes it to the oven and cooktop.

The oven sets itself to the right timing and temperature so the meal will be ready the moment you step in the door.

But that’s not all.

As you drive round the corner into your street, the garage door automatically opens for your car. A proximity sensor and your car’s network connection talk to the garage.

In turn your home knows your car is approaching, and importantly that it’s you in the car. It knows this because your car knows you biometrically.

When you approached your car at work small cameras saw you walk, recognized your movement and completed a facial recognition scan. Only then did the car lock open.

Everything is connected, and is uniquely specific to your lifestyle.

This is where man and machine interact seamlessly and intuitively. You don’t need to find an app on your mobile phone, click an icon on a desktop computer, or even push a button to turn something on.

It all happens the instant you think of it.

This creates a philosophical issue. The potential is for things to go to the next level, where you don’t even have to think of something. Even before you know what you want to do the technology around you has already determined what you want based on what the machine has learned from your past behavior.

This may sound weird, and even undesirable. After all, would this now mean that technology has evolved from providing labor-saving devices to thought-saving devices?

I don’t think it will come to that.

Besides, what you need to understand is many of these technologies already exist in some form.

GE already has an oven you can control from your smartphone. It’s the GE Profile Series 30. Nest Labs has developed a connected thermostat that learns your movements.

As for cameras that can facially and visually recognize you, most high-end smartphones already have facial recognition.

Of course this world of immersive technology extends way beyond the home. The same technologies will exist in the office. No more lanyards and security passes and cards. Unique identifiers like your heartbeat, finger prints, eye scanners and facial recognition will become standard. Added with proximity sensors, and you’ll never need to break stride when stepping into the office anymore.

And you’ll also notice your shopping and retail experience will change for the better too.

The moment you step inside a shop you’ll be recognized and ‘checked in’. This will be possible through proximity sensors in the store and sensors located in your mobile device. That might be your smartphone or something like Google Glass.

In the shop you’re presented with clothes you’ll like — the store already knows your style and styles you may like based on what you’re wearing and your previous buying habits. You agree with the store’s selection, put them in your bag and walk out of the store.

The moment you step outside the store, you’re ‘checked out’ of the shop. The items in your bag are ‘checked out’ with you. Instead of queuing up and messing around with cash or cards, you automatically pay as you leave the store.

Sensors at the shop exit know you’ve left and communicate with your mobile wallet. You’ve paid without even taking your smartphone or anything else out of your pocket.

It’s seamless and hassle free.

Again this isn’t technology from the depths of my mind.

It exists today. PayPal has this kind of technology now and is testing it in the market.

And here in England, several schools are using electronic payment technology in a different way. Kids can have their thumbprint scanned into their school’s database. This converts the print into a digital code.

When the kids pay for their school lunch they don’t have to use cash or a card, they simply place their thumb on a reader and the cost of the school lunch is immediately debited from the account their parents have with the school.

If kids can do it without fuss, why can’t adults?

This is all part of the immersive technology trend that’s happening today.

Keep your eyes on this space!


Sam Volkering

P.S. Immersive technology is one space that requires a team of qualified people to monitor every single day, to pick out specific investments at specific times to narrow down the actionable ideas. To get investment ideas FREE, stream-lined to your inbox, in this space and more, check out the daily Tomorrow in Review email edition, which you can .

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