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November 09, 2010

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Video: Innovations that Will Revolutionize Rich Media Communications | Wainhouse Presentation by Glance CEO, Rich Baker

Including Insights From Ray Kurzweil, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, Jeff Han, and Patti Maes...

Earlier this year, Andrew Davis invited me to put together a presentation about emerging technologies that I felt might impact the rich media communication industry.  He wanted me to present it at his Wainhouse Research Futures Summit in July 09.

Watch the presentation >>
(password = glance)

In truth, I think any talk about the future is pretty presumptuous -- even silly.  I doubt anyone has much of a clue about what will drive future innovation -- certainly not me.  Having that insight liberated me from worrying about having to say anything "profound" or "right".  I felt it just had to be fun.  Fun to give and fun to watch.

Even better, I realized I could design the presentation so that I wouldn't even have to "give" the talk itself.  I could let others give the talk for me. Here's how...

I spent some late nights scouring the web for talks given by thinkers and innovators and researchers that I felt had some really great ideas.  I intentionally focused on people completely outside the rich media industry, as I think the best ideas come from "outsiders".  

I narrowed my list down to a few particularly pithy talks, edited them for length and strung them together into a narrative.  

I looked to Hollywood for inspiration as well -- because I think some of the most creative ideas come from screenwriters unencumbered by the mundane constraint of having to worry about building their creations.

 I hoglance.netpe you like the result (password = glance). The presentation opens with some great insights by Ray Kurzweil about how technology seems to advance exponentially everywhere he looks.

I include some clips of Blaise Aguera y Arcas demonstrating one of his innovations (called Seadragon), which lets you effortlessly zoom in and out of big data sets of super-high resolution imagery.  I think it has tremendous potential for the publishing and rich media industries.  

I also take time to admire some of the futuristic motion-sensing UI to manipulate massive amounts of video content, made popular in Spielberg's 2002 Minority Report.  I learned that Tom Cruise's frantic hand gestures were in fact guided and inspired by real-world gesture-based work pioneered by MIT Media Lab researchers, who have since founded oblong.com and managed to implement many of his motions in a real product, which I briefly preview.

I also include parts of a fabulous live demo from 2006 by Jeff Han (NYU), showing just how intuitive (and fun!) a brilliantly intuitive multitouch lighttable can be when manipulating massive amounts of visual data.  Witness the inspiration behind the stunningly popular iPhone that appeared a few years later...Picture 7

The Media Lab's Pattie Maes also earned a segment in my talk for a wearable, wireless (and totally geeky!) rich media device.  Don't expect me to walk around wearing one of those things, but it might inspire someone to come up with something practical someday.

I also have fun showcasing original and modern versions of the Pepper's Ghost illusion, invented back in the 1800s.  A monstrous new display based on that illusion makes for a great show in front of a big audience, but it's such a totally fake experience for the presenters that I find little real-world value in it.

More practical is USC's impressive new live 3D videoconferencing technology.  It's truly 3D.  It's real.  And maybe someday it could appear as convincing as Princess Leia's famous hologram in Star Wars.

Please have a look.  Admire the work of some really bright people.  And tell me what you think.

(For copyright reasons, I password-protected the hosted video. The password is glance.) Enjoy!

Rich Baker - Innovations that could revolutionize rich media communications on Vimeo.

FYI, I built my talk in Keynote.  I recorded each clips on my Mac using Screenflow, an elegantly intuitive screen capture and editing product that I highly recommend.  

Our intern Scott then used Screenflow to capture the streamed video of my talk.  Then he imported my original video clips into ScreenFlow, positioning and overlaying them, then re-rendered everything with ScreenFlow into the video you see above.  That way, you get to enjoy the clips in this video at a nice high quality level.  (Make sense?!)

-- Rich Baker, CEO and Founder, Glance Networks

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