DOSSIER: The Optics of the Future: Realism & Fantasy
It has been almost ten years since connected optical devices became a very concrete concept. Like any technological innovation, they had their beginnings before taking off. Their advent is only a matter of time. If we still expect a lot from the big brands of American tech, and in particular from GAFA, the first to communicate without having convinced for the moment, certain models are already weighing on the market. We make a point in this new file on the optics of the future.
Perspectives of the future: the digital revolution, finally?
Since the launch of Google Glass in 2011, connected glasses have become a more concrete project, but which promised to be infinitely more difficult to implement than a smartphone or a watch. The fault of the device itself, which offers little space to integrate a digital system. The promising project was stalled three years later. The idea seemed good, but impractical. The aesthetic and practical side of the device was bound to fail him. As a bonus, inserting a camera into an optical device raised the question of privacy. Digital seemed to have found its limits and the revolution would stop there.
But that was without counting on technological progress and the will of researchers who gradually succeeded in overcoming obstacles and difficulties. The most surprising thing was that the revolution was not going to come, for once, from the GAFA. The main problem comes mainly from comfort, because when it comes to features and possibilities, there is no shortage of ideas. Video games have also already begun their technical and technological transformation with virtual reality , allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your game.
Mixed reality, already in focus
But for glasses, it looks infinitely more complicated. No way to abandon the idea. Above all, before marketing to the general public, the possibility is given of helping the professional sector. The axis of artificial intelligence makes it possible to offer companies such as DHL, Boeing or General Electric devices to facilitate their work. This is also the case in the medical field. After all, if the aesthetics are not suitable, that's not a problem, it is above all necessary to save time and productivity.
The user, on a construction site or during an operation, will be able to take advantage of mixed reality , a mix between the real and the virtual.
Other tech players, members of GAFA or not, continue to believe in it. Facebook and Apple in particular, specify that they are still working to improve their prototype. Especially since some studies predict the obsolescence of the smartphone in the coming decade. Glasses and watches would therefore no longer just complement the telephone, but replace it.
Future optics in the context of the Internet of Things
But what will the glasses of the future look like? In the early 2000s, it was very difficult to imagine what, twenty years later, we could do with a telephone… Will it be the same with our glasses? It's possible. We could even be even more dazzled.
Indeed, the glasses of the future could and should integrate a form of artificial intelligence much more developed than the one we know. Alors, oui, le départ semble très long pour les lunettes connectées mais il faut aussi prendre en compte notre conscience des possibilités, bien plus grande que lors du siècle dernier.
D'après EyeSee Mag : " Non seulement l'IA sera capable de reproduire un comportement précis mais elle pourra également prévoir, juger, apprendre à partir de ce que l'utilisateur voit, lit, écrit, écoute pour ensuite être capable de s'adapter ou d'anticiper. Associées à des données toujours plus nombreuses, à des technologies dédiées à l'intelligence artificielle encore plus performantes, à des algorithmes de plus en plus avancés, les assistants qui équiperont nos lunettes de demain connaîtront sans doute sur le bout des doigts les habitudes de leur propriétaire et seront à même d'identifier et anticiper ses besoins à sa demande pour se rendre vite indispensables. "
Surtout, les lunettes devront automatiquement être intégrées au sein d'un environnement connecté , que l'on appelle "Internet des objets" (idO), une infrastructure qui permet de relier tous les objets connectés (du frigo à la tv en passant par la gamelle du chat ?)
Limitless optical devices?
But let's stay on the glasses? In concrete terms, what would that look like?
What is now certain is that future smart glasses will integrate at least the characteristics of our phones (navigation, management of calls and messages, media, etc.) by sometimes making them more practical thanks to the device (sport, translation, driving, etc.)
The Chinese brand Xiaomi has already presented an ambitious device, without yet announcing a name, price or release date.
But in the future, could it be even crazier?
Indeed, we can already approach possibilities that go beyond the imagination. So, why can't these glasses, which can display your shopping list or prevent you from getting lost in the woods, also allow you to see perfectly in the dark, increase our visual field or restore perfect sight to the visually impaired? Devices are already working in this direction, and the greatest fantasies could then come true.
Other functions could be of great service: the possibility of capturing everything, of isolating parts of an image, of making your optical frames capable of adapting in a few seconds to the luminosity to become sunglasses, or even of making this modification yourself. Today, it's not ideas that are lacking, but rather knowing how to adapt them.
And if we're only talking about glasses, we mustn't forget lenses, which are constantly moving in the direction of hypertechnology. Connected contact lenses are also the future of optics and hold great promise.
The optics of the future is determined
It is now concrete to say that connected glasses are and will be the optics of the future . The first models, if they do not yet know the dazzling success of telephones or watches, are bound to change our perception. They also tend to prepare the ground and the market for the big players. The latter will not allow themselves to install 100% non-operational products for sale.
The train has been taken and we can think that it is late, but that was without taking into account the imponderables of the eyewear object, which require other technical and technological prowess and a level of Research and Development even higher than what is currently being done.
But there is no doubt that in the coming decade, these objects will be essential, d firstly because they are beginning to prove themselves, and because the trajectory is all in all dazzling. Our perception tends to want to speed things up, without taking into account the immensity of the task.
To find out, see you in the future.