Augmented and Virtual Reality at the Center of Disruption
Playing to the Mind’s Eye
As a CIO and AVP for Innovation, I have been requested by numerous organizational stakeholders to leverage many of the ‘rave’ technologies such as AI, IoT, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality over the past three years. We have been extremely successful with pieces of these technologies to add immense value to the organization. In fact, leveraging these technologies has allowed us to be mentioned in over 400 magazines, newspapers, trade journals, TV spots, and even get a short segment on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon for innovative use of wearable technologies via cloud-computing. These technologies have also allowed us to win three national technology awards.
I am a firm believer in leveraging each of these technologies where appropriate, but a greater advocate of understanding how they merge with each other in the proper context. Winning three national awards for innovation around these technologies is not the end goal. The end goal is aligning the mission of your organization with the most appropriate blend of these technologies – while predicting which technology is the focal-point for your business.
As a CIO and technologist in various industries over the past 25-years, it has become clearer what technologies will be at the center of innovation and disruptive transformation. I predict that the clear winner will be augmented and virtual reality. The primary reason is that human nature will always lean toward the elements that closely align with how people feel, think, and respond to our surroundings and environments. The ability and degree to which technology can allow humans to feel successful, technologically savvy, non-threatened, and in control of disruptive change will ultimately be the center of transformation. The smart phone illustrates this very point. The smart phone personalized technology advancement with personal text messaging, my voice, my apps, my entertainment, my contacts, my music, my email, etc. The smart phone was the closest extension to the human mind and body that converged with how people perceive their life, yet allowed them to feel as if they were advancing into the tech-realm along with the rest of the world.
Lest you think that I am being too biased toward the human aspect, let’s review the theory by the person labeled as having the highest IQ in the world, Christopher Langan[i]. Christopher has an I.Q. of 190-210, compared to the 140-160 range of leading scientists. Christopher has masterfully developed the theory of the relationship between ‘mind and reality’ which he calls the “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe”. In summary, Christopher states that human experience will reach a point that it surpasses the intelligence of computers or science. His research is intense, yet persuasive as it is proving out as time unfolds. His theory and that of many other thought-leaders conclude that the greatest results in advancing the world are the combination of mind and computing power. This combination produces the greatest human experience with science based reality — which is the essence of augmented and virtual reality.
Augmented and virtual reality hits the center of allowing humans to extend the visual nature of our human-experience through computing power. It allows people to sense/view a combined aspect of themselves, the future, and personalized experiences to produce a new found knowledge in their ‘mind’s eye’. The mind’s eye[ii] allows human beings to visualize change, advancement, and be technologically savvy – all at once. Even though I have worked on supercomputers and experienced some of the most amazing technological advancements, I still recognize that the human aspect of our sensory organs, our heart, our spirit, and brain make up the culmination of intelligence perceived by our mind’s eye. Augmented and virtual reality plays perfect into the ability to extend and expand our mind’s eye. This explains why Pokémon Go (classified as augmented reality) is so successful. It allows the smart phone to extend the human experience even further into the imagery of people’s competitive nature and the environments in which they live, or dream of living in.
Diagram 1 below illustrates the technologies mentioned and how they float around augmented and virtual reality at the center of transformation and disruption. The most tragically named technology of all time will prove to be the Internet of Things. IoT. (IoT) impersonalizes the internet and predicts a future of ‘things’ versus a future of people. A United Nations lecture I gave describing why the IoT will never be the center of attention can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/163106322
As Oral Roberts University has embraced augmented and virtual reality it has become clear why augmented and virtual reality are so quickly adopted, and out perform any other technology. Many case studies using Pokémon Go have validated the quick adoption of augmented reality over the past 18-months. However, case studies are popping up all over the world with leaders such as EON Reality Inc. that demonstrate the increase in knowledge transfer, grades, retention, and intelligence between education and industry. Augmented and virtual reality are perfectly aligned with the human mind’s eye, human preference, student engagement and pedagogical delivery — yet leverage computing power that creates expedited (fast) knowledge transfer through visual and personal learning environments.
Since 1948 Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives has been the gold standard of classifying educational goals for student performance evaluation effective outcomes of education and engagement. The original taxonomy was created by psychologist Benjamin Bloom, and has been revised in many different formats. The diagrams below represent various revisions of Bloom’s Taxonomy by different universities over the years. These diagrams are intended to illustrate the levels of engagement and learning that occurs as you move the ‘educational-dial of intelligent engagement’. For the purpose of this article, I have added (overlaid) all text and portions of the diagram that are labeled as traditional education, augmented reality, virtual reality, and knowledge transfer.
No other technology has so clearly allowed learners to obtain the outcomes that augmented and virtual reality deliver. For a video demonstration of how Oral Roberts University is using augmented and virtual reality visit: https://vimeo.com/165200782
 Base Diagram 2 by the University of Arkansas, and Base Diagram 3 by Iowa State University. [i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Langan [ii] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mind's%20eye