The IKEA of AR: Making Content Effortlessly, with EON Reality’s Dan Lejerskar

January 20, 2020 00:37:30
The IKEA of AR: Making Content Effortlessly, with EON Reality’s Dan Lejerskar
XR for Business
The IKEA of AR: Making Content Effortlessly, with EON Reality’s Dan Lejerskar

Jan 20 2020 | 00:37:30


Show Notes

It’s been said on this show before; XR doesn’t have a technology problem, it has an adoption problem. In Dan Lejerskar’s experience, everyone from universities to governments see the value of XR — they just lack the content to make it a worthwhile, everyday tool. He and Alan explore how EON Reality is addressing this discrepancy. 

Alan: Hi, it’s Alan Smithson here. Today we’re speaking with Dan Lejeskar, founder and chairman of EON Reality, a world leader in virtual/augmented reality based knowledge transfer for industry and education. They believe that knowledge is a human right and it’s their goal to make knowledge available, affordable, and accessible for every human on the planet. We’re going to find out how, in the next XR for Business Podcast. Dan, welcome to the show, my friend.

Dan: Thank you so much.

Alan: I’m really, really excited. I know you guys have been working– well, you specifically have been working in the 3D virtual space for many years now. How did you get involved in VR and learning?

Dan: In my past, I used to work with simulators — big aircraft simulators, etc. — and I got really excited about seeing the effect it has on pilots and soldiers, and I always thought that it would be useful to do the same, but for normal people, nurses, etc. But obviously these people couldn’t afford a $50-million simulator. So I had to be patient and wait until the computers follow Moore’s Law; become cheaper, faster, better. And by ’99, the hardware was there, so you can start running this on PCs. So we were very early adopters of virtual reality already in that period.

Alan: We’re talking 20 years. Most people know VR and AR as if kind of something in the last five years. But what was it like kind of going through these growing pains of going from a million dollar simulator — millions of dollars simulator — to now we can buy an Oculus Quest for 500 bucks?

Dan: It’s been an interesting journey, with a lot of ups and downs. And very much VR has been like AI. I’m sure you’ve read about the “AI Winter”, when things didn’t go that well. We’ve had quite a few ups and downs in virtual reality. ’99 was fantastic, because that was the era of dot-coms. And we started with something called Web3D, so you can do 3D on the web. It had actually millions of users. Then we had a hard landing 2001. Remember when dot-com crashed? And we had to move our business from industry and education to defence because we had September 11th. So that was kind of what saved our business, doing homeland security centers and the like. And then slowly and surely, we picked up the business up to 2007, 2008. And during this period, there were several iterations. There was something called people avatars and virtual worlds, that was very popular around 2007. That raised and crashed also, pretty tough. But we managed to navigate those water until I would say 2011, 2012, when the hardware became available for mobile devices. So this was before Oculus. Already then we could see where the industry was going.

Alan: Oh, you guys, you never lost your path. You’ve veered a little bit from military, to industry and education, back to military, and then back to industry and education. Obviously, the passion is in the industry, knowledge transfer and education. What are some of the projects that you guys have done in the last few years that really just made you go, “Wow, this really is something that, quote unquote, normal people can use?”

Dan: So, you’re right. We realized quickly that the biggest value has to do with knowledge transfer. And we started thinking how can this technology be used to solve big problems? And we identified three areas. One is government. We have an initiative that I’m happy to talk about. We call Human 2.0 or Enhanced Humans. And we roll this out with more than 50 governments around the globe, national governments. Then we have also the initiative for academia, which we call Classroom 3.0. It is transforming education by experiential learning. And then we have a third group we call Industry 4.0, or our enterprise solution. And in each of these sectors, we have concrete projects. So in the government sector we do something called interactive digital centers. Those are pretty big investment from governments, can go up to 6-7 million dollars per location. And I’m just about to inaugurate the new one now in Morocco — of all places — that we work with USAD.

And what we’re focusing on this bigger project is to address the gap of skilled, smart workers. As you know, technology is a big killer of jobs, but also big creator of jobs. And in this creation process, we have to teach new people new skills. And virtual reality/augmented reality proves to be very efficient there. That’s one type of projects. With education, we do the same. We work with big universities. We work with regions. And again, that is to help students learn faster, retain information longer, and make better decisions. And industry, we work with two areas. We work both with the area of productivity increase, predominantly using augmented reality, but also with learned trade; training using virtual reality. So that’s very broadly what we do. I can go into the specifics of each.

Alan: Why don’t we break that down? And so we’ve got kind of these large government centers. You mentioned they cost between six and seven million dollars. What is in that? What are they getting for that? What is the value created?

Dan: So concretely, there are four elements in a center. The biggest one is a dissemination machine to up to 7-10,000 users. We have a platform we call the Augmented/Virtual Reality Platform that essentially does both, it’s a mix of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mobile based solutions. So it works agnostically on everything from an iPhone to very sophisticated headset. So that, the first part of the center is to essentially do a regional deployment. I’ll give you an example. We’ve just done one in Bologna in Italy. So that deployment is done both with a university — the University of Bologna, with 6,000 students — and it’s done also with industry, the Ferrari, Maserati, Ducati, all this industry that they have there. So that’s the first part.

The second part is we have a showroom, and the showroom displays all type of technology, from large screen environments, room size environments [which] we call Icube, to headsets. So people actually can not only be aware of this technology, but understand what it does.

The third element of this is an IP and content creation. So we have something we call the VR Innovation Academy, and we train local resources how to develop and deploy virtual reality and generate local IP. And the fourth element is a marketplace. We have something called the Vault and the Vault contains lots of assets, that we accumulated over 20 years, developed by ourselves or partners. Think about it as a Netflix, but containing virtual reality objects, objects and application focused knowledge transfer. So those are the four elements of a center.

Alan: When you’re building these centres, I guess you’ve mentioned the universities in an industry. I assume government is involved in that. What are the benefits, then, to the university? Is it more to [bring] their students up to speed? Because you mentioned also the knowledge transfer or content creation using local resources. Is this something that the universities are using to bolster their employment statistics or…?

Dan: Yes. So if you look at academia in general, there are three big problems today they have. One is a quantitative problem. They need to teach more with less; less time, less money. They have a second problem, which is a qualitative problem. The skills that they used to teach — which is remembering and learning, understanding — they are not any longer applicable. You have to now do analyze, evaluate, create, so it’s a different type of skill set. And the third problem is what I call “the sage on the stage.” Since 1400, we used to have a guy standing in front — typically guy — stand in front of a lecture hall and preaching. And that doesn’t work any longer, because today’s students are social learners, multi-taskers, short attention span. So you have to universally start realize that they have to do something different, and that something different is what I call experiential learning.

So rather than just teaching you about logistics, we give you a Heineken brewery and you learn logistics within that context by solving a problem. Now, that is fantastic, but it’s pretty expensive to get your hand on a nuclear power plant or a brewery. And that’s where virtual reality really comes to play. So Eon has the world’s largest library. We have 870,000 assets. So if you say, let’s say particle accelerator: sir, we have it. So what we did is we went to vacuum clean all 3D warehouses and created these building blocks. And then we developed the platform because today– this is a big problem. I don’t know if you realize, 82 percent of universities have tried VR and AR. 82 percent, in some fashion. But when a majority of them — I would say 90 percent — do not pursue it. Why? Why do you think that is?

Alan: They don’t see the value in it. For one, my second guess would be that it’s too expensive for two. The third one, in my opinion, would be the fact that they just don’t know what to do.

Dan: You’re pretty much right. They see the value. The value, most people understand the value. Expense is a problem, because if you want to roll this out to 8,000, you’ve got to buy Oculus for everybody, and even that’s too expensive. But the biggest problem is actually they don’t have the content. It takes time to develop content, and it takes skills to develop content. So I would say that’s the biggest one. I just was recently with a university in Mexico. They spent $4-million on equipment, but they don’t use it, because they had only two or three curriculum that they can use, and it took them two years to develop. So fundamentally, we address these problems with our platform. Number one, our platform works on any device. So if you have your iPhone or the 4 billion of smart devices, so you don’t have to have a fancy headset. It works with a headset also. So that’s how we eliminate the cost aspect.

Then the other aspect, make it easy. How do we do that? If you’re familiar with IKEA, right? IKEA, you buy a furniture, build it yourself. So our mantra is easy. It stands for effortless. So I can teach you to develop an application in less than one hour. And the skillset you have is PowerPoint or less. So you don’t know anything about coding, Unity, Unreal. So that’s the first one. The second one is affordable. So for $12 a student a month, you’ll get access to the full platform. The third one is self-service. So that’s the part of do it yourself. And the third– fourth one is interconnected. So you can interconnect. I kind of– it was a segue from your question about academia. But academia wants to do it, most of them. And they want to do it, but they don’t have the ways. We help them with a platform to integrate and deploy it, not to 30 guys in a lab, but to thousands and thousands of students. Affordable.

Alan: So how do you then get people to learn how to do Unreal and Unity without teaching them? How does that work?

Dan: Let’s dissect the problem with content creation and virtual reality. So there’s three elements to this, if you think about it. There’s one, you need to get data in somehow, right? So you need to get 3D models created. Then the second thing is, you need to bring that to life. So let’s say you bring in a piece of machinery. When you push a button, something needs to happen. And further, you need to publish this on something, whether it’s a headset. And then, of course, you need to manage. So the traditional way to do it is to use Unreal or Unity. And that’s what we used to do. And that takes a lot of time. So after about 10 years of doing that, we said, “Wait a second, 80 percent of the time we do this repetitive thing, that we can make it easier.” So we don’t have to go in scripting and coding, because 99 percent of our customers don’t have a clue how to do that.

So what did we do? First of all, we’re getting data in. We teamed up, so you don’t have to create models. You can go into a library and search about 870,000. And if it happens that your specific model that you want is not there, you can also import under 20 different formats. So CAD, Autodesk, Siemens. We teamed up with SAP, so you can do that. And it happens behind the scenes. So you just drag a model in, and it pops up in the application. So that solves the first problem. Second problem is bring that model to life. How do you do that? So we created a non-code interface that allows you to do a number of things, easy. As easy as PowerPoint. If you want I can go more into detail on that. And the last one is publishing seamlessly to anything. So that’s the platform. And we have a lot of lectures in our website how to do it. And we are coming up with a freemium model actually later this month. So you will have a free version also of the platform that you can play.

Alan: So basically what you’ve done is you’ve templatized the creation of virtual and augmented training.

Dan: That’s it, yep. You’ve got it.

Alan: All right. So is there anything you want to touch base on the showroom?

Dan: Not so much, to be honest. The showrooms value is diminished, because if you go back 5, 10 years, there were no major producer of hardware, for virtual reality. So we kind of have to integrate our own systems. We have something like Icube and obviously it’s like a cave, basically you walk in and you’re surrounded by walls and you get the same experience that you do in a headset. But we still have–

Alan: Yes, I’ve been in one of those giant caves. They’re awesome, except very nauseating.

Dan: Yeah. If you don’t know what you’re doing, and if you have a bad match between the refresh rate, especially if you do roller coasters or stuff like that. Yeah.

Alan: Ugh. Why do VR people show roller coasters as the first experience? Stop doing that! Anybody listening, stop doing that! [laughs]

Dan: [laughs] That’s true.

Alan: Then you talked about IP and content creation using local resources. So how does that work?

Dan: So let me give an example. So we teamed up with Loyola University in Chicago and the best ophthalmologist, among the best in US. And they were very interesting to use this for learning how to examine a patient. What’s the process? Because a lot of students are not comfortable to do it, do that physically. So they had all the knowledge and we had, of course, some resources and we had the platform. So we teamed up together. This IP is developed, validated by the university and the experts there. And then once when that’s created, first of all, of course, they use it themselves. And then in a span of a few months after releasing that, we had everyone from Harvard to Stanford to purchase this application. And then we do a revenue split between us and the university. And that IP then propagates, it’s put in the Vault in the marketplace and it’s sold around the world.

Alan: Pretty awesome. So kind of like– how did I say it? Maybe I guess the Unity asset store would be the same. Only instead of for games, you’re doing it for learning.

Dan: Yes, you can say that. It is important because you still have customer that not even want to create, even if it’s easy. They just want to buy something off the shelf. And that’s where we have the Vault. The Vault contains not only building blocks, but full applications that have been certified by an expert, because we are not experts in ophthalmology. Or almost any of the areas we cover.

Alan: Huh, interesting. So I guess you’re relying on your partners to, I guess, help develop– not only develop, but certify it.

Dan: Yep.

Alan: To make sure that it is doing what it says. Now, how do you deal with that? So let’s say, for example, you work with the university in the US to develop this content and then somebody in Europe wants it. But maybe the education is a little bit different. How does that work?

Dan: Basically, it’s– the idea is, a large amount of our customers don’t want to basically learn how to create content themselves and they much rather prefer to get the flying start by selecting existing assets. So we have this– looks almost like Netflix, with description of each application, and then we have a needs assessment session. And during that session we walk through them, what exactly they’re interested. How do you want to start? And then we together pick up maybe a dozen application for a pilot and subject to their satisfaction. Then it could get full access to both the platform and evolve.

Alan: You do a trial with them, say here’s ten pieces of content, try it out for a month and then pay us and you have access to everything.

Dan: Yeah, I mean, we are flexible. Typically we want to make sure that there is a genuine interest. So we do insist on having this type of session, a workshop essentially where we fully understand their needs. We make sure that we under-promise, over-deliver. But once we establish that and establish that they have a genuine interest in a budget. So assuming that they are happy, they will purchase. Yes, no problem. We can give it to them for 30 days at no cost.

Alan: How do you– I guess the question I have is, it’s a Netflix. So is it like Netflix, 7.99 and all you can watch? Or is it three dollars for this, and four dollars for that, or five hundred for that?

Dan: Yes. So we are not yet there. We have two types of sales. We have what I call top-down, where it means we are approaching large organization or national governments or regional governments. And that’s when we do this many 10,000 licenses at once. And then we have what we call bottom-up, when we start with much smaller things. As little as 50,000. But we typically are B2B. We are not yet B2C. So if an individual person wants to use it, we are coming out this month with a freemium so you can actually get to test everything. But for a low amount of cost, but you don’t have all the features. For example, there some patients who can do five lessons in application, but that’s it. So we are coming up with models, but we are not yet at the Netflix level with all-you-can-eat buffet for a amount of money. But it’s going that direction.

Alan: I think everybody is trying to figure out the Netflix model of everything. And then, of course, Disney+ comes along out of nowhere. One of the things that has come up previously on the podcast is 3D models, and the fact that there’s no standardization. You mentioned that you work with SAP to kind of import any types of 3D models. Can you talk us through that?

Dan: Yes, absolutely. So this is a well-known problem that we’ve had for 20 years, even in the previous platforms. The more advanced ones we used to do, that require programming skills. Still, you have to be able to import. And originally when we started, we had to import through neutral file formats. But if you do that, you lose a lot of data. So you have to go native. Not only do you have to go native, you have to — if you want to support a Boeing, or Airbus or, any of the big companies — you have to support various versions. So, for example, Catia, which is a Dassault’s CAD system, you have to support version 6.467. And to do that, it requires a lot of resources.

So what we did is we looked at who’s the best in the world to do that. So we worked with two or three companies. One of them was Aries, not long ago acquired by SAP, so that’s why we have that partnership. And we basically licensed their importers and embedded in our platform, but make it much more easier for someone that doesn’t know a lot about CAD and polygons and polygon reduction. So that’s our approach. And then we also assure that as new versions of CAD come out, that we are compliant with that. Because of this important. So currently we can support 120+ formats through these various collaborations we have, which is pretty much everything except the obscure formats. And it’s not only CAD. It’s also if you want MRI device or you have GIS data, BIM data. So it’s– or scan data. Or even 360 videos, we support that, too.

Alan: It’s kind of crazy if you think about it. The world of 3D, 120 formats. For people listening, if you don’t understand what this– imagine JPGs, you want to send a photo to somebody. But there was 120 different photo formats that you could send to somebody, and not every phone or device would accept it. This is crazy.

Dan: Yeah, it is. There is a reason it’s not so easy with content. You have to tackle this problem, otherwise you don’t get even started without the model.

Alan: It’s true. It seems like more of a non-starting issues with all of 3D, not just VR and AR, but even just putting something. Because you mentioned when you first started out, you had Web3D back in– before ’99 you said, I think. You had 3D on web.

Dan: Yes. So we would start with that, which was quite fantastic. I still– I mean, we had a very large contract — more than $5-million — with office depot to do furniture configuration of chairs, and office planners where we had hundreds of thousands of skews of furniture. And it was used and it worked, very well. We had done configurators for Suzuki’s motorcycle, because they make most the money in part. But those were kind of kiosk like settings in a dealership, where you basically picked the favorite bag you have, and then put all the gear that you want, saddlebags, everything you want, and then automatically we got you the price, etc. So that type of things we had to do then, because nobody was wooed by virtual reality. So how do you make money and support yourself? We’ve been self-funded since 2001 as a company. We don’t have any VC money. We just make money based on the value we provide to our customers. And that puts us in a pretty unique situation.

Alan: Amazing. It really does. Then you look at something like Blippar, who raised 110 million– actually more than that, $110-million and then went bankrupt in a four year span. What are your thoughts on that?

Dan: You know, it’s nothing different from a dot-com or any similar cycles that you have this hype curve. People come in, they overestimate the benefits, underestimate the issues, the practical things that you have to fix. Then people realize the problems with– that happened with dot-com exactly. And then most of the companies then crashing. And then there are a few that survive. Small companies like Google, and eventually people like Facebook and others, and create this revolution. And I don’t think it’s different in anything. It’s the same happened in VR. The interesting thing with VR is we’ve had these cycles three, four times during 20 years. You may not remember, but there was a VR revolution back in ’95 and I was part of that. There were clunky headsets. You basically have to have something supporting your head. And then we had crash 2001 and then we had another crash in 2007. A billion dollar to spend on virtual worlds. I don’t know if you remember that wave.

Blippar is part of this– and Blippar is not the only one. I would say 90 percent of Chinese VR companies went bankrupt last two years, and you have similar in the US, a lot of hardware companies that demolished in the long run. And you do take a big swing from an investment perspective and you’re all in and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. We have a slightly different approach to it, because we are owning our shares and we care about our customer. And we don’t take huge risks. And it proved to be a marathon.

If you told me in ’99 that virtual reality didn’t take off still– in fact, to be very honest with you, what happened with me is that by 2007, 2008, I said, “This is it. I’m quitting VR. I mean, it’s a wonderful business, but it’s more lifestyle business. Yes, we make money and yes, we grow. But this is not going to be a billion dollar business anytime soon.” And I was instrumental to take when I was 37 a company to $500-million. So I was like, “This is it.” So what I did, I left the company. Still being a big shareholders in custody of my friend, the current CEO, and I said, “I’m gonna do something totally different.” So I went into smart devices. I created a company called Greenway System with a friend, former CTO for the consumer department of a large IT company. And we took that company to $250-million between 2008, 2009 to 2011. And I was planning to never come back to virtual reality.

So then I get a call in 2011 from my friend, and he says, “Dan, you have to come back.” I said “Why?” “Virtual reality’s coming back.” I said, “No way. It’s not going to happen in our lifetime.” But then I came back and visited, and I saw that his order picked up and the volume of business picked up. And I said, “What’s the secret?” And the secret was very simple. The thing you have in your pocket. These phones could handle applications that we used to run for uncle for million dollar systems. You could run it on your phone. So then I realized, wait a second, this is earth-shattering. And VR has been the love of my life for long periods. I said, “I have to come back.”.

So I sold my shares with Greenway and came back. Then I came back and said, “OK, let’s take a hard look at the business and see how can we grow it. We have fantastic customers. We have a good product. We have good reputation. We do make money.” We actually know how to make money, which is not so easy in this business, as you know. So how can we expand? So then we came up with this idea. Why don’t we take our knowledge and share it with various locations around the world by building centers? Those are the centers I was just talking about. So we embarked with our team. We went to 130 different countries, visited predominantly with governments and universities. And I think we had a problem solution to the problem. What keeps them up at night? That’s what I typically take. If you ask a minister in a country in Europe what keeps him or her at night?

Most likely the answer will be that I’m worried about the jobs. I’m worried about the disruption that technology causes, because it kills and creates so many jobs. And I wonder what in 10 years what’s going to happen with all these displaced people, and how do we take a truck driver that today will become unemployed in the next five years? We can’t turn him into a coder, right? That’s not going to happen. So what we do is we help them to use virtual reality — and augmented reality — to train them to become welders or nurses. And that’s the programs we put together with government. So we came up with the idea to set up this center to solve big problems, not small problems. Because if you talk with a minister, virtual reality is not on a top– probably not top 100 list. So anyway, so we started setting up those large centres, and then we partnered each location with either governments or institutions. And this way we not only had a presence in all these places, but could grow the business, but we also had a customer because oftentimes these governments want to do workforce development, you have complete projects. And that allowed us to expand the business and have a presence that today, although we don’t have investment, I think we have more locations than Magic Leap, that has a $2.7-billion investment.

Alan: They’ve spent an enormous amount of money, and we shall see.

Dan: No, no, no! Actually, no, I’m just going to Vegas this year. And I’m together with Magic Leap, I think Magic Leap is a wonderful product. We are very proud to announce that we are releasing the platform now in January together with them. And the actual senior vice president of Magic Leap, John Gaeta, joined our advisory board. So we think it’s a great company. So is, I think, Microsoft with Hololens. So we tried to stay– I’m from Sweden, we try to stay neutral in this contest. We like neutrality.

Alan: I love it. All right. Is there anything else that you think you want people to know?

Dan: I’m very excited about success stories. And in our company, we have a three word mantra. Build the platform, sell the platform. It makes customers successful. And if you sell software as a service platform, you’re not better. If a customer wakes up tomorrow, says, “OK, I don’t like the platform any longer. I’m not happy with it.” Then they stop paying, and we charge per month. So customer success is super important. And we are just about to release a series of — from 28 countries — customer success stories. We’ve published– I think I published one of them just recently in my LinkedIn. And we are rolling those out, because people are curious. And in the first six hours, I have thousand views, because people really are hungry for it. So we understand the benefits of VR and AR. But show me someone that actually benefits. And I don’t want to hear from you. I want to hear from these customers; why they use it, how they use it, and why they continue to expand. So that’s something that we’ve put a lot of effort in and you’ll see a lot more news from us in that context. Giving the customers a voice.

Alan: That’s wonderful. I think that’s what’s been missing. A lot of people over the last few years have been saying, “Oh, VR can do this. AR can do this. We could do this.” But when you think about it, there’s not been a lot of people saying “We have done this. And here’s our results.”

Dan: Yep, yep, that’s correct. And by the way, we don’t really think AR, VR, mobile, it is in our context and for our platform, it’s mainly the same. But if I was to think about it a bit deeper, I would put it in three buckets. The first one — and this is how would we approach a product, also — the first part of our problem is the learning. You use it to create content to learn. The second part of our platform is for training to apply what you learn. And the third part of this is performing. So once you learned and trained, then you– let’s say you work with engines, and you’ll get to Alaska and you have to repair that engine. And you may not remember all the steps. That’s where AR and the contextual knowledge injection comes to place. So those are– it’s a learned trained performance.

And that’s how we see that more or less all the customer success stories, they evolve. It may take baby steps in the beginning with learning. And we want them to make it easy, because if you tell a large corporation — even an Exxon — that “Oh, you want to roll out to 10,000 workers? Oh, you have to be 10,000 Oculus.” They get discouraged. They will never do that. But if you tell them that, yes, we could roll out 10,000 workers, but you can use your tablet, existing tablet, even your own devices. And then, slowly, let’s say you have 10,000 users on these devices, then you have maybe 200 headsets. And over time, as the headsets become cheaper, faster, better, you can have more. So I think that has been a big limitation for a lot of companies that try to sell platforms, because they are dependent on the high-end devices. And let’s face it, the larger devices have disappointed, right? Even great guys like Magic Leap or Hololens. If you look at the figures of units, how many many they’ve sold, they are not that much, yet. But it will come. It’s just a matter of time. So our strategy is to make sure that we satisfy customers today, tens of thousands of users with an organization at an affordable way so they don’t have to wait for the cheaper, faster, better devices.

Alan: Now, there’s some really amazing advice. So I think with that, I think we should wrap it up. Any final words, Dan?

Dan: No, other than that, I’m living like a kid in a candy store, you know, I plan my next 7,000 days, which is– 7,000 days is about 20 years. So I hope with good health and exercise and a few other tricks in my bag, I’ll be part of this amazing journey. Just fun to be around and see this revolution in VR and AR.

Alan: Well, what problem in the world do you want to see solved using XR technologies?

Dan: Ha, that’s quite simple. I’m sure you’ve seen Matrix, right? Where you’ve got to take the blue pill or the red pill. I think humanity at the moment is at the bifurcation point. You can take the left turn, which means that increasingly machines take over humanity’ role in workforce. And if you believe scaremongers on AI that eventually they take over completely, but at least take our jobs. So you have a huge amount of population that we can render useless. So that’s one vision.

The other vision is that we become human 2.0, enhanced humans, where we stand on the shoulders of machines, use our curiosity and blend ourselves with machines. I think things like [garbled] working to put wires into your head. I think that that’s going to take too long time. In fact, if we wait for that by then, the machines have taken over. So I think AR and VR has a huge importance to create that bridge between man and machine. So instead of today interacting with machines at speed of thumb — which is very, very slow — we operate with machine at speed of sight. And we get the information. The machine knows where you are, who you are, what you want to do, and it feeds that information to you. And you have this superpower. And that’s the future that I’d love to see for us. And that’s what I will try — in whatever capacity I can — to do for the next 7,000 days.

Alan: Man, thank you so much, Dan. Here’s to the next 7,000 days.

Other Episodes

Episode 0

February 11, 2020 00:40:02
Episode Cover

Making a Pair of Ray-Bans Act Like a HoloLens x50 with Edge Computing, with Verizon's TJ Vitolo

Verizon’s XR development lead, TJ Vitolo, dreams of a day where he can download an entire TV series in an instant, or visualize info...



November 20, 2019 00:23:59
Episode Cover

Bringing the AR of the Military to the Eyes of Consumers, with ThirdEye Gen’s Nick Cherukuri

A lot of XR technologies started from projects in the military sector, including AR. Today’s guest Nick Cherukuri is working to bring what he’s...



February 25, 2020 00:50:54
Episode Cover

Creating a Dialogue Between Innovators and Educators, with VirtualiTeach’s Steve Bambury

Using VR in the classroom is a no-brainer. It’s immersive tech, and can teach kids in new, innovative ways. But if the people developing...