Ep. 23 – Enabling Technologies
Several enabling technologies are contributing players in the creation and development of Web 3 and the Metaverse. A brief overview of AR & VR, advanced networking, geolocation, the internet of things, decentralised technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning. So you can understand how their convergence is supporting the rollout of this new frontier.
In Season 4 of the Creating Cadence podcast, we’re exploring Web 3, the Metaverse, Blockchain and other concepts and technologies. To help create a foundation of understanding for how they may impact on our resilience, wellbeing, creativity and productivity in the near and far future.
Any resources referenced in the episode are listed below the transcript.
Hi and welcome to Creating Cadence, a podcast for life and work in motion.
I’m your host Mich Bondesio, a writer, coach, consultant and the founder of Growth Sessions.
The aim of my work is to help people develop better work life-cadence and more mindful approaches to work. To support their creativity, productivity and wellbeing, and manage their time, attention and stress better.
This podcast is an accompaniment to this work, where I dive deeper on topics including digital wellness, intentional productivity, emerging technologies and the future of work.
So this is episode 23 of Creating Cadence, and the third episode of season 4, recorded in November 2021.
In this season we’re embarking on a journey of discovery to understand a new frontier called the metaverse, as well as the converging technologies which enable it to exist.
As I’ve mentioned in past episodes, we’re at a moment in time and space, when the convergence of these technologies has big implications for how we will live and how we will work. For how we’ll do business, transact, communicate, connect and collaborate online.
Even if you don’t think this technology is relevant for you or your business right now, in coming years and possibly even in months, it will be.
So the purpose of this season of the podcast is to give you a simple foundation of understanding about these things and how they connect.
In Episode 21, I set the scene for this new frontier and touched on cryptocurrency, NFTs, creator coins and blockchain technology.
In Episode 22, I specifically discussed the metaverse and web 3.0.
This episode is about the enabling technologies that are contributing players in the creation and development of Web 3 and the metaverse.
In future episodes, I’ll be contemplating the implications that all these changes have for our creativity, productivity and wellbeing. But we first need to understand what they are, before we can figure out their impact on us.
So, if you’re ready, let’s dive in to the supporting characters in this digital landscape, that was once the realm of fantasy science fiction, but which is rapidly becoming our new reality.
Web 3.0 is made possible by the convergence of several enabling technologies, which include the following:
- AR & VR
- Advanced Networking
- The Internet of Things
- Decentralised Technologies
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Now stay with me.These may sound like confusing or scary terms but I’ll explain a bit about what each of these mean. I’ll also be sharing resources in the show notes, for those of you who want to dive deeper.
‘AR’ = Augmented Reality
It’s when a digital experience is overlaid on our physical world. AR essentially alters your experience of the physical place you’re in.
So to give you some examples. The game Pokemon Go, is one example of an AR experience. Google Glass, Microsoft’s HoloLens and Apple’s soon to be developed Smart Glasses are other tools that we can use for accessing AR experiences.
This technology is already being implemented in lots of different areas. For example, when surgeons are performing certain procedures, if they’re wearing AR tech, they can look at the results of ultrasound or MRI whilst simultaneously working on the same area of the body.
In engineering or construction-related industries, contractors can view the layout or schematics of a piece of equipment whilst they are building or repairing it. This tech is slowly being adopted in a host of industries to improve efficiency, increase accuracy, and save lives.
‘VR’ = Virtual Reality
A virtual reality is a ‘made up’ world in the digital space, with virtual 3D objects that are rendered from scratch using computer software.
VR can be anything you imagine it to be. Think of those wonderful fantastical places in the movie Avatar, or the games you play using a Facebook Oculus headset.
But the applications extend well beyond gaming, into the world of business, where trade and communication can occur in a constructed digital space that mimics what we would see in real life.
This is where the metaverse is likely to be most obviously accessible, but it will not be the only way to access it.
An example of this is 5G, which stands for fifth generation wireless or cellular technology. Whilst 5G is being rolled out around the world, 6G is already available in some places too.
With increased speed and responsiveness, these wireless networks are capable of transferring vast amounts of data at higher speeds across both phone and computer networks.
You might think that the best use of that is faster downloads of your large video files, or better streaming of your favourite Netflix show. Or maybe a faster response time for your online gaming. But the ability to transfer large chunks of data at rapid speeds supports all the other technologies I’m talking about in this episode too.
Examples of how this tech is used include things Google maps when looking for directions, or Waze GPS when driving. It might be Amazon when you get the notification telling you how many stops away your parcel is. Or the weather app when you want to know if it’s about to rain, which, when you live where I currently do, is always a strong possibility.
Geolocation links people and devices to places all around the world. Related to this, it’s also interesting to note that the latest Monterey operating system for Apple products is bringing their Apple maps to life with 3D mapping technology.
Yes, there are potential privacy issues with geolocation. But it can also be used to save lives and find places and people in remote or innaccesable areas. An example of this might be the What Three Words app, which has mapped many inches of the world using language.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
This concept, also known as IoT, has been around for a long while already. The Internet of Things relates to all the little sensors and smart devices that we have all around our homes, offices and public spaces. They are the things which make our lives a bit easier and more efficient.
Think about Alexa announcing that your Amazon parcel is due for delivery via the flashing Echo dot device in your kitchen. Or the flashing light on your air purifier or water jug that tells you that the filter is due for replacing.
IoT devices exist all around us and this tech is being ramped up in a thousand different ways, that you’re probably not even aware of.
Decentralised Technology (Blockchain)
I spoke about blockchain technology in episode 21, so all I’ll say about it at this point is that although it may seem a bit clunky and inaccessible to most of us right now, that’s going to change as two things start happening.
First of all, big players in traditional banking and financial industries are starting to get more involved and this will enable cross chain transactions, where we can buy goods and services using fiat or crypto currencies interchangeably.
Second, the technology will become simpler and easier to use, plus more environmentally friendly. It’s currently not, as gas fees for crypto conversions are exorbitant, and it takes a huge amount of energy to power the blockchain.
But, all in all, this decentralised technology is going to provide us with better online authentication, better security, in a host of different ways.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
AI is already a part of our lives, working behind the scenes to automate activities that will make our lives more efficient. And as all of these emerging technologies progress, AI will become even smarter. It will become autonomous and self-programming. Which potentially removes us from the equation.
As I mentioned in past episodes, yes, AI could have detrimental consequences in our lives. And yes, some of what is happening out there can seem a bit scary. But, these emerging technologies do also have the propensity to make our leaves easier, more efficient, healthier, and dare I say it, happier.
As long as we are able to adapt to live with them and engage with them in ways that still support us.
In the next episode, I’ll be exploring what that might mean. How can these emerging technologies better support our wellbeing, creativity and productivity? How might they not? What can we do to ensure that we can leverage their benefits without falling prey to their dark side.
Links to articles and online guides that will help you develop a deeper understanding of the terms I’ve discussed in this episode.
Emerging Technologies (Deloitte)
AR & VR (PC Mag)
Advanced Networking – 5G (Ofcom)
Geolocation (Google Developers)
The Internet of Things (Wired)
Decentralised Technologies (Journal of Design & Science, MIT)
AI & Machine Learning (Sas.com)