Walk through your data


Data is oil, right?

But do we have the vehicles to drive it?

Numbers are the foundation but we've not made it much easier to understand.

We represent them through pie charts, bar graphs and spatial dispersion. In advanced cases we are able to create interactive points to get a better picture.

Even then, we're on the outside looking in through screens.

So, how can we enter the data landscape like we navigate physical environments?

We understand spatial data well because of our immersion in the real world.

Bad VR is building data walkthroughs in VR.

The choice of the company name is strange but memorable.

They use VR to create immersive environments to reach out and touch data.

One of the applications is to figure out where to put 5G transmission towers.

With the help of the headset, technicians can actually reach out and hold signal bars to see how strong or weak the signals are within a space.

This improves on the previous installation procedures which were both manpower intensive and less efficient.

Hopefully at some time in the future, we can actually walk through annual reports.

And sales projections. Or safely explore disease prevalence in cities.

What's your earliest memory of computers?

My father used to work in a civil defense establishment.

And I remember seeing bits of leftover punch cards from the programs running the behemoths then. Never saw the actual computer, of course.

It occupied a whole floor and no one was allowed entry. But it was far less powerful than the smart phones we carry around today.

The earliest memory I have of working with one is an Apple Mac 2 used to 'pulse' audio visuals.

Essentially, they were the kind of presentations you make on Power Point or Keynote or Canva today.

They took weeks.

First, the script was recorded. Then images captured from books , magazines, newspapers and brochures to create transparencies or real slides loaded into Kodak carousels.

You couldn't just hit 'New Slide'

Each of the slides created were laid out in a sequence on light boxes. The Apple Mac 2 programmed the slides to be projected and positioned according to the script, and synched  with the voice over track.

Setting up a presentation involved carrying slide carousels, projectors and audio and took hours of rehearsals to get right.

Laptops were still a decade away.

Now, it seems like the stone age of computing

How far does your health obsession go?

Smart watches measuring your blood glucose levels

And your heart rate to tell you if something's off.

We're slowly but surely outsourcing our wellness to multiple devices.

And ignoring our inner voice.

You know, the one that tells you to get some sleep.

Eat some food. We tune out both, hunger pangs and when the body says enough

Or fatigue signals telling us we should be taking things easy and not stress too much.

The mobile phone has become the master we blindly submit to.

Now, there's a device called Lumen.

And it hacks your metabolism. Tells you if it is on track through the day.

Suggests a detailed diet plan to compensate or cut down.

You breathe into it in the morning or before a meal and you'll get feedback on how your body is doing.

One more chart to obsess about.

Monitoring used to be for patients who had a problem.

Checking blood sugar levels. Or blood pressure.

Lumen has evolved from studying high performance athletes and what they need to do in training for competitions.

So the pedigree is impressive.

Question is, do you need a device to tell you how you're doing?

It certainly appears that way.

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