Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle

Rent Eyes: Future LifeStyle Applications?

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Wearable Computers

Gadgets are available that people can wear for lifestyle applications. For example wearable gadgets from Jawbone, Nike, Garmin, HD Pro, and others that users can wear for  monitoring running performance, sleep, health, and so on. 

As these gadgets become prevalent and varied then they are going to generate lot of data. The data generated is currently used for self use for the most part. But what if the captured data can be used in real-time for others to experience the situation or moment ?  

Sixth Sense 

An interesting invention by Pranav Mistry, unveiled  at TED talk in 2009, aims to use physical gestures when interacting with digital world.  Later he experimented in overlaying digital world on physical world.  Pranav was a pioneer and an original innovator as one can see the power and promise of the concept from the demonstration at TED talk. 

While a product based on his invention has not appeared in the market yet it  is still a possibility for a version of Sixth Sense to be part of our lives in future. 

What this post speculates is on the possibility of sharing physical world in real-time with others using digital technology.  It is a Sixth Sense in a different sense.  Read on…

Surrogate Mother 

A concept already in vogue in our society.  For women fond of having children but who can’t use their own womb, for medical or other reasons, there is choice made possible by advances in medical science.   Could this example lead to others ?

Rent Eyes

Imagine you love Yosemite and have been there during different seasons and you are simply in love with Yosemite.

Or you have been to the beautiful city of Istanbul and taken boat trip on Bosporus (one of my favorites and highly recommended activity in Istanbul) and like to relive that moment later time in your life.  How could you experience at least few minutes of that boat trip sitting right in your home? 

The examples are endless – see  Times Square,  Hawaii, and so on. 

When you are bored or stressed out from work or life you may wish to be in places you have been in the past and relax. It is like meditation or Yoga for you in terms of lifting your spirits but only if you can experience it. 

If it is once in a month and if your favorite place or places are all nearby then may be you can relive by actually driving up there. But  what if you like to relive past experiences few times or even every day?   What if you are not able to travel at all? What if you need to relive now because your mind  feels like it is ‘now’ or ‘never’.

Any time you wish  to relive in Times Square , Yosemite ,  a trail to Everest base camp,  you can bet that there are some people already there at that very moment. So why not  see and experience those places using them? 

Five Senses

Obviously, to relive past experience one needs input from  five senses.  However, the most important senses are eyes and ears.  So why not start on a small-scale first by renting those sensors from someone who is already at a place you wish to relive?   

By renting some ones  eyes, you can experience that remote place as that person is seeing. You are there  as an invisible object and as a shadow. 

When you are shadowing someone by renting their eyes and ears there may come a point or moment where you want to touch and interact with the distant world that is being projected for you.  For example, imagine you are one of those that find relaxation in visiting malls and shopping over weekends or other times.  Now, consider that there is some constraint holding you from going to the mall but you really want to be there. What you could do is simply rent eyes of someone who is already there.  Once you rent,  you could be in Macy’s or in whatever shop the 1st person is going in.

At some point you may like an item you see in the shop and you like to interact with it – perhaps pick and feel the cloth quality. If you like it the next logical thing is to buy.  This is where  r-commerce (remote commerce or shall we say s-commerce meaning shadow commerce?) applications may be possible in future. You like something you see through the rented eyes and you want to make purchase. 

More use case for Rent Eyes

Other use cases where renting eyes might be useful:

watching sports : rent eyes of those sitting in the front row or special areas

adventure  : biking, racing, skiing. Imagine you can rent Michael Shoemaker’s eyes and experience race car driving

shopping. Just rent eyes of some one already in Macy’s and finish your shopping!

learning: watch a plumber or carpenter or surgeon as they perform their work and learn from it

video games: watch the game as it unfolds to the gamer whose eyes you are renting

Business Models

if ‘Rent Eyes’  idea  becomes feasible then the next logical question is – what kind of  business models might be possible? Obviously business models depend on kinds of applications plausible once “Rent Eyes’ beomes feasible.  For example in a tourism applicaiton,  renter may have to pay a travel guide who is renting his eyes.   The  tour guides for example could making a living by renting his/her eyes daily for $5/hour. With 10 customers simultaneously renting his eyes the tour guide could make $50/hour touring times square for example. Yet another example. A front row seat at a sports game  may cost $1000s but if the person can rent his eyes at $20/rent and finds 50 renters then may be he can watch it for free. Obvioulsy the renter may have reviews and ratings to help users pick the best Eyes!

How to realize Renting Eyes?

Renter wears some form of wearable cameras.  The other person watches the feed as the wearer moves around. For examples head mounted cameras made by Gopro.com.  Though Gopro gear  is complex and meant for recording sports such equipment  could be fine for professional tour guides willing to rent their eyes daily at popular places like timesquare, golden gate bridge, Yosemite. Gopro.com. For peer-to-peer use, more simpler wearable cameras would be needed. Such cameras can also help record the visit for personal user compared to conventional handy-cams.

Eye output sharing  this requires advances in medical/neuro sciences. The output the eye of the 1st person is captured, digitized and transmitted. This output is then used to feed to the visionary system of the 2nd person (the one paying to and renting eyes of the 1st person).   With optical output copying approach the vision limitations of the person may impact the experience. For example if the person renting has visionary impairment such as far sightedness or astigmatism and others then the quality of the experience will be sub optimal.  However, this option is too speculative to even dwell further until medical research community can make further advances. More on this later. 

Ethical and Privacy Issues

Per SF Chronicle article recently:   

laws have been proposed that would require cell phone cameras to include a shutter-like clicking sound, so people are aware when they’ve been photographed.

But mobile phones have had cameras built into them for almost 10+ years now. Privacy issues didn’t surface until now as there is more understanding of the use of the mobile and its impact on privacy.

Likewise, when wearable cameras or eye’s optical output is used in ‘rent my eyes’ paradigm to help share your world with others then increased understanding of such use and its impact on society need to be observed for a while to make recommendations on privacy policy. Until then allowing innovation to take its own course in this area is important as this has many benefits to society including benefit to bring joy and excitement to several people who may not have the opportunity to be in places where they wish to be, particularly medically disabled or elderly.

Parakaya Pravesam – Hindu Mythological concept

In mythological stories of India  the concept of entering someone else body is called Parakaya Pravesam.  Para means some one other than self,  kaya means body and pravesam means entering.

The soul of one of person, typically posessing godly powers,  enters the body of another person. Once in there the pWhen soul of 2nd person enters the body (kaya) of someone (para). Once the soul of 2nd person is inside the body of another person then the 2nd person is viewing the world around as well as interacting with the world using his own brain and of course the magical powers as these are mythical and comedy stories. 

Scientific advances may never get to a level where they could help experience world of other person in the sense of using the five senses of that person. However, conceptually and  theoretically it seems logical.   Each of the senses has output (ear, nose, mouth, eyes, skin). If output of these senses feed the brain of the 1st person to produce some output (e.g feeling cold), it is possible that the output of the sensors if fed to brain of a second person could produce same output. 

Sensor output capture and replay  may be an area for medical and scientific community to explore – how to exract neuro signals and replay them by passing to another brain?  If we can then we may be able to play things of past like in a time machine except that we can only play the past and not the future. But may be even future is possible as speculated in the movie ‘Inception’.

It is also possible that somehwere in our body the creator has left a port that emits all data going to brain. Only if we can tap that port and copy the data going to brain then perhaps the data can be fed to another brain/person to help that person see and experience what the 1st person’s brain did.  A music recorded on tape plays the same when you put the casettee in a music player whether it is from Sony or from someone else. Likewise, if the senory data going to brain can be tapped , recorded and used to feed to brain of another person, we may be able to achieve partial parakaya pravesam.


Written by ellanti

January 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm