Last sunday I went to check out the current trending technologies in today's main stream tech market at the Melbourne Exhibition centre.
Purchasing my $25 admission ticket, I was giddy with excitement at the prospect of countless treasure troves of tech that I could wow my friends and work mates with back at the office. Rolling through the wide front doors I was greeted with an indoor space the size of a football field. Stalls everywhere, people buzzing with excitement, trying out new toys and new ways to spend their cash. This was where it was all happening.
From Yamaha's auto tuning Guitars and self playing grand pianos to Kymera's electric body and surf boards with top speeds of 35km, the tech expo pulled out some interesting gems. However the real star of the day turned out to be... you guessed it, DRONES.
Drones, drones, drones. Half the convention hall was dominated by the flying beauties. DJI were out in force with their Inspire and Phantom lines for budding film makers. Competitors with water proof and higher pay load models flaunted their stuff nearby.
Drone racing proved to be a massive marketing focus with walls of the little devils for sale and a live demo, safely behind netting of course. The racing drones are operated by a person wearing VR goggles allowing them to see what the drone sees while you boost at crazy speeds around what ever obstacle course you have set up. I tried on the goggles while the demo guy raced the drone and I have to say, WOW. I now see what all the hype is about. It really does feel like you're flying. The barrel rolls and quick changes of orientation were actually quite disorientating, but this was far out weighed by the fun. I just can't wait to get my hands on one of my own!
For roughly $500 AUD you can pick up your own racing drone. The controller and goggles will set you back a further $600 AUD... so it's not a cheap hobby, especially when the racer will most likely need quick fix ups and part replacements every time you crash it, which you will, trust me.
Another huge focus for the expo was A.R. and V.R. or Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. The two main differences being one adds to our normal reality and the other creates an entirely new reality. Long queues were a common sight for the VR gaming stations. However I was more interested by the mysterious AR stands. Swinburne University gave a talk on AR developer software they intended to release very soon, allowing people who can't write code to make AR apps for games, businesses and other ventures.
This all came about a week before the release of Pokemon Go. An AR app which earned Nintendo over 8 Billion dollars in market value. Then you've got the infamous Snapchat AR selfie filters.
I think we will be seeing a lot more of AR in the future as well as VR. What excites me about AR is how well the consumer market has responded to recent ventures into the field. I like the idea of adding to our reality, rather than being transported to a different one. Adding value to the world around us is a huge breakthrough in the digital world.
So in light of this, whats your favourite emerging technology at the moment?
And how do you think Augmented Reality ventures could effect today's society?