How is software design digitizing the world?


© Pravin Chakravarty |

Scott Brothers, Group COO at ONVU technology explains how software design digitizes the world with an emphasis on the influence it has had on modern technologies such as virtual and augmented realities

It’s easy to get carried away by the here and now, but our working lives have changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and have been unrecognizable for the past 40 years. It’s worth taking a moment to see what we can learn from the huge changes that are shaping our lives. It’s all down to the software and the changes coming from Silicon Valley that have erupted from the computer hardware it runs on and have infiltrated every part of the way we run our businesses and our lives.

No industry has emerged as quickly to radically transform the world as the software industry. If a kid had said in the 1950s that he wanted to work in software… well, it would have been remarkably prescient! The first company providing software and services was not established until 1955 – the Computer Usage Company. And now, every person reading this is only doing so through a collaboration of thousands of companies, technologists – and perhaps millions of software coders around the world.

Since the 1990s, the corporate sector has successfully opened up an entirely new area for widespread use: the Web. And while we all live a large part of our lives in this entirely new territory, it’s interesting to think about how the web has covered the real world and made the merger of the two a reality.

How meatspace went digital

“Meatspace” is how some technologists scornfully refer to the real world – it’s where we humans go through our messy and hard to coordinate interactions. To a rough extent, human society hadn’t really undergone much change in the 100 years leading up to the 1950s (at least in terms of economic structure and the business world). Meatspace was very slow.

And now, two generations later, witnessing our grandparents, life has changed. Economic mobility and entrepreneurship abound due to the scalability of the web market and its access to skills, manufacturing and labor that productivity and communications software enables.

From project management and organization software like Asana, to instant messaging from Slack, enterprise software allows us to do a lot more with our time, by connecting us, accelerating our efforts and producing better results. quality at a fraction of the cost and do it ourselves.

But only now are we really making the most tangible breakthroughs towards a fully digital world. Augmented reality, as opposed to virtual reality, seeks to integrate the tangible world around us with this processing power that can transform our ability as humans to use our intelligence to change the world around us.

Augmented Reality: Technologies that overlay computer-generated images and information on a user’s view, providing a composite view of the real world with additional details or additions.

Many people only know about augmented reality through games, especially Pok̩mon GO. Rather than using that power to play games, companies are doing much more interesting things Рusing smart video to show workers useful information to help them improve their enjoyment and success at work.

Smart video is video that can deliver real-time situational awareness and analytics, giving users a deeper insight into every aspect of their physical operations and customer interaction. For example:

  • Large retailers are using intelligent 360-degree video to see how customers interact with in-store merchandising, to see how shoppers move through the physical space of a store, and to decide how to best shape the journey to make a trip more pleasant (and lucrative!) experience for all parties.
  • Logistics and construction companies use smart video to automatically signal if safety equipment is not worn at a particular site, such as a loading dock where people and vehicles interact.
  • Supermarkets use smart video to alert floor staff when the number of people in line exceeds a threshold or when they have been standing still for an unacceptable amount of time.

In any case, smart video provides simple but smart actions, such as counting people, measuring vehicle speed, alerting when people are moving in restricted areas, measuring hot spots of activity or how common trips are made around a route. All of this would be very tedious, unprofitable for a human, and many would require specialized equipment and sensors that intelligent video can natively handle. A video camera, after all, is really just a light sensor, which can measure and provide metrics on much more than just a “mute” video stream – it’s a platform for a variety of people. measurement capabilities including distance, speed, counting, route plotting and density mapping.

It is this intelligent video technology that promises to truly integrate the worlds of meat and software into one interactive and interdependent whole. Being able to see the figures behind the world, correlate and interpret what we see in a quantifiable, correct and measurable way is a massive force multiplier for many types of workers. Almost all spaces requiring the presence of the public, from banks to ports, from car parks to supermarkets.

Smart video turns the world of “meat” into part of the largest software interface ever. Humanity has never been so integrated and cared for. With an empathetic use of software technology, we have the power to change the world for the better with maximum impact for much less effort.

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