Revolutionising Travel – The VR Travel Platform

Could VR Travel Revolutionise Planning?
Could VR Travel Revolutionise Planning?
Credit: Travel Pulse

When last did you book travel? Especially for pleasure. How did you find that experience.

Depending on the holiday, I find it both invigorating and frustrating.

Invigorating

Invigorating because I make a point to research activities, accommodation, and transport for everywhere we’re planning to go. I once created a ‘Guide Book’ that was 33% a ‘Lonely Planet’ type guide, 33% a Tripit style wallet of important information, confirmation numbers, phone numbers and addresses, emergency numbers and the like; and 33% empty space so everyone could journal their holiday.

Whenever someone asked a question on the 5 week South African Tour the family would shout out “It’s in the Guide Book!”

Frustrating

But creating the book was also frustrating. It seemed impossible simply trying to decide on Accommodation and whether to fly or drive to locations. Or even decide between locations.

How revolutionising would it be to literally travel to the location virtually? If you could don a VR headset and try something out  before even committing to comparing prices.

Revolutionising

If you own a holiday destination, this must surely be a nascent opportunity you can use to differentiate your business right now. If you’re a traveller, a back-packer, this must surely be an opportunity you can capitilise on right now (with the right camera.)

Don’t let the big corporates take this away from you. Figure out how to get VR experiences into the hands of holiday planners.

Blockchain And The Trusted Third Party

Blockchain disintermediates trusted third parties
Disintermediating Trusted Third Parties
Credit: Blockchain

I have a good friend, a colleague in the Fintech Start-up space who submitted an entry for funding for a Blockchain Start-up. The ‘deciding committee’ rejected the opportunity on the grounds that nothing the start-up could do, a ‘Trusted Third Party’ couldn’t do.

Exactly.

That’s the point.

Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin, the digital currency. Can you have a currency with a trusted third party? Of course. All currencies rely on trusted third parties. Usually the government, or a government agency. The whole point of Bitcoin is that you now have a currency without a trusted third party. Because the technology codifies the trust.

So to reject a start-up because you could do the same thing with a trusted third party is ridiculous. Of course you can. That’s the whole point of Blockchain.

We need to move beyond the legacy evaluation of innovation in Australia, and consider the subtleties and opportunities of nascent technology.

IoT – Opportunity or Disruption? How Can You Benefit?

Layers of Disruption, and Opportunity
Opportunity or Disruption? Up to You

An interesting study I’d like to commission is the correlation of earnings with Internet connections. I.e. Do those with more connected devices earn more. Anecdotally at least it seems there is a very high correlation. Most of those I know earning 6 figures or more seem to be constantly connected with at least 3 devices.

Also consider how the vast majority of people connect to the Internet. Currently this is via the smartphone.

In a recent project where the City of Melbourne gave every tree an email address they learned that over 60% of the homeless have a smartphone. And it is well documented that the poor in developing nations have a far higher penetration of smarphones than Internet connected computers. Of the almost 3B connections to the Internet, almost 2B are via mobile devices.

This makes some sense, as computers automate more and more processes, scale the amount of information for decision inputs, and connect to lower cost or higher value labour, we amplify the return.

IoT Scales Connections

If this is the case, what does this mean for the Internet of Things? Of rather what does IoT mean for you? Personally?

Personal assets – wearable and mobile technologyThere are a number of areas of opportunity anyone can pursue right now:

  • Household assets – automated home & the connected car
  • Smart Buildings – office, campus, and residential
  • Industrial Internet – machinery, environmental and asset optimisation
  • Travel and transport – fleet management and logistics
  • Smart city – Traffic flow, lighting, safety and policing, waste disposal, event management
  • Utilities and Energy – Energy metering and usage, utility arbitrage
  • National – Environmental analysis, population management, migration challenges

There are opportunities throughout every sector from personal to national. Opportunities for connecting devices to the IoT that benefit you directly and for business.

This isn’t just true for technologists.

We need funding models that benefit from these connections, we need to establish legal frameworks. We need educators to teach users and practitioners how to use this technology. Marketers, sales people, recruiters.

The Internet of Things changes the very fabric of society. And that affects every job.

Whatever field you’re in there is a direct correlation to understanding and becoming a practitioner in IoT and financial success.

Could We Use VR To Correct Eyesight?

I am interested in how we can improve the human condition with technology. Could we use VR to correct eyesight?

Monitoring eyesight
Could we shift the focal length in VR to correct eyesight? Credit: uploadvr.com

I’m not an optician, or opthamologist. So nothing I say here could have any bearing on reality. But I am interested in how we can improve the human condition with technology. Could we use VR to correct eyesight?

Both my step- and biological fathers were airline pilots. And on the biological side I have two generations of military and commercial pilots. Like me, all of them had 20/20 vision in their teens. However, they all needed glasses in their 30’s and 40’s whereas my eyesight is still 20/10.

Even without this personal observation though, it’s hard not to notice how many pilots wear glasses. One of the reasons, I believe, is because of the amount of time they spend focusing at a fixed distance. Whilst there’s the big blue sky, the eye tends to focus on the glass of the window and the cockpit console. This is a similar effect to everyone who works for long hours staring at a computer screen.

Well, that and age of course.

So my question is, “Could we reverse this using VR?”

If we can reverse, or at least mitigate the effects of eyesight in children using corrective lenses, could we do the same in VR?

Could you enter a prescription into a VR system, which then changes the focal length of the display ever so slightly so as to exercise your eye appropriately? Tracking the eye would allow the system to discern fatigue, again changing the focal distance to reduce strain. Over time, exercising the eye in this way, theoretically at least, would do the opposite of relaxing the eye at a single focal length.

Is this even possible? Are you, or do you know an optical specialist who’d be interested in researching this with me?

The same could be true for hearing as well. Could we alter frequency and volume to regain hearing across certain volumes?