CES 2015: The Human Experience
In January, H+Technology had the privilege of showcasing at CES, the world-renowned global consumer electronics and technology trade show that is held annually in Las Vegas. The prevailing theme for CES 2015 seemed to be the importance of creating a union between technology and humanity. It is clear that tech is no longer just about putting fancy gadgets in the hands of humans so they can view and encounter their world differently than they had before; it's about leveraging what we already know concerning the human experience and building products that effectively utilize and enhance that experience. The Sulon Cortex, one of the most interesting and impressive pieces of wearable tech at CES (although still in the prototyping phase), is looking at virtual reality in a new, "more human" way. It's like the Oculus Rift on steroids, if you will; it has pushed the envelope of traditional VR by combining it with augmented reality and spatial scanning for improved spatial awareness, depth perception, and a truly immersive overall experience. The Sulon team's goal is to utilize the user's actual, present environment (their apartment, workplace, or wherever they are at that moment) and transform it into a holodeck. While the Sulon Cortex is still in its early development, the concept that gaming should be an extension of our own world rather than an introduction of a fictional, unrealistic, or intangible one speaks to the changing shape of tech and the exciting direction in which we are moving.
The Sulon Cortex was one of many products at CES that shed light on bridging the gap between what humans naturally do and what tech provides for them, ranging from prosthetic hands with incredible dexterity to science-fiction-like computer touch sensors. CES Innovation Award Winners included The Eye Tribe Tracker from The Eye Tribe and miCoach Smart Ball from Adidas, both of which are built from the concept of real human interaction with an object. The Eye Tribe Tracker uses the eye to control mobile devices, employing one of the most basic and necessary human senses of all - sight. The miCoach Smart Ball provides analysis and visual information to allow soccer players to evaluate and improve their physical movements, speed and accuracy through contact with the ball.
At H+Technology, our work is very much in line with this new movement and our goal is to be at its forefront. Both the Magic Box and the Magic Room are about steering away from a 2-D, heads-down interaction to a tangible, 3D one that expands the mind, stimulates the visual and aural senses, and uses the body in a way that is more familiar and natural. From what we saw at CES, the world of technology is taking impressive measures to deeply understand the human experience and recognize that it can't be entirely limited to a flat screen. The better we know ourselves as sentient, active beings, the better, more effective, and more innovative our technology can become.
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