Why digital is eating the world – Prototypr

Why digital is eating the world In 1991, when the production of Jurassic Park started, Spielberg wanted to use physical visual effects to recreate the dinosaurs. They hired Stan Winston’s group who were experts in animatronics and puppeteering and Phil Tippet who was considered, at the time the best in stop motion.Industrial Light & Magic was brought in to add motion blur between the frames but to ILM this was a lost opportunity. They had a big budget project but the technology behind it was pretty outdated and on the verge of being obsolete. They needed to convince Spielberg to use CG in the movie so Steve Spirit and Stefan Sagmeister stayed in after hours to create a walk cycle for one of the dinosaurs.They knew that Kathleen Kennedy the producer was coming on a Monday in November 1991 so they formed a master plan to casually leave the animation playing on a monitor as she walked into the office.Kathleen was impressed indeed and it was immediately clear that they could get realistic movement to these dinosaurs that were far advanced from what they were doing in stop motion or puppeteering.The next challenge was convincing the rest of the big shots.After a few weeks, ILM had a test shot of a T-Rex walking. The render featuring a T-Rex moving towards you blew away everyone at the screening and phone calls were made to use CG in the movie. Everyone felt CG could go with movies like bread and butter or peanut butter & jelly. A T-Rex drawing to figure out joint placementsJurassic Park was a triumph for computer visualisation as it proved the advantages of computer simulations over physical effects.It was also the start of the digital revolution that gave us vloggers, motion design, and indie games.Nowadays we have an extensive infrastructure built for digital technology and we use digital services all the time but we rarely think why it came to be like this.Why is it that computer technology and digital media & services had such a transformational effect? Why does it go hand in hand with existing businesses so well, and why can we sprinkle it on top of them like some special sparkles?In the following section, I’ll give a few examples where digital and physical differ. If we understand these differences we can create a better and meaningful digital world that can be a natural part of our lives.Here are a few examples of why digital is eating the world.Forces — ImaginationIn the physical world, Newtonian laws rule, you operate with forces and counterforces and anything that needs to apply a force or a counterforce needs to be constructed out of physical materials.For example, a bookshelf is applying a counterforce against the mass of the books so they don’t fall, or a door is blocking your path unless you apply force to open it.There are no forces in the digital world (unless we come up with a magical force field that can take up any shape) but getting rid of nature’s laws has its benefits. Without laws, we are free to create anything without worrying about physics and feasibility.Everything created with a computer is either a simulation or made up by forming our own rules.These rules are there to provide guidance and comfort and to build a foundation. We have rulesets for navigating interfaces, creating web layouts or playing a computer game.The rules are laid down by an army of interaction and game designers to give us a library of patterns that worked out and people got familiar with them. The best part is that unlike the physical world we don’t have to adhere to these rules, they are only there to give a head start when needed.Purpose — UniversalIn 1936 Alan Turing proved that a universal computing machine would be capable of performing any mathematical computation if it was representable with an algorithm.This was a revolutionary idea — a machine of fixed structure that could change itself based on the code like a fancy chameleon, from a machine dedicated to one task into a machine dedicated to quite a different one. A recreation of the famed Enigma machine in the movie The Imitation GameBefore the war thousand of human computers were working in business, government and research facilities. Turing proved that this machine can theoretically do any task a human computer can.This idea of a one-stop-shop computing machine might seem obvious today, but up until that point, engineers created machines for a specific use case. An engine to get you to places, a lightbulb to illuminate the room.Computers are our first universal tool and this means that we can use it in pretty much any situation to make the process a bit better or to replace it.How much we can depend on digital technology depends on the extent we need physical forces and matter. Physical objects can be extended with smart capabilities (a la IOT) or completely replaced like in an AR game.Local — GlobalDigital objects and services can travel across borders and can be copied infinitely. It doesn’t have the labor and material costs of a physical object.I created this medium post once and I can distribute it freely without paying any attention to it. It just gets to places and eventually, it will find three to five people in a remote location.If I were a digital marketing expert I could monitor and direct this flow and create new access points from where my content can be replicated.Physical objects can’t replicate on their own and need constant supervision to check for faulty items, monitor supplies etc. A distribution network has to be built around each item, while digital objects can use the same old amazon cloud server.By default this enables digital services and goods to be global and spread extremely fast. It also causes issues around protecting intellectual property rights as content from the internet can be remixed, borrowed or misused easily.Static — PersonalizedA digital object can be personalised for every individual like your Youtube recommendations (that got sidetracked because you watched this).You can provide a slightly different digital experience for every customer and see which one performs better. Changes can be rolled out immediately and their effects monitored in real-time.Because data is so easy to gather you can drown yourself in it and find hidden gems. Part of the reason why Facebook is still around is that they identify these behaviours and basically predict the future. With a group of MIT data scientists at each company’s hand, it’s getting harder to justify the value of intuition.You provide a system and people figure out how they want to use it.The next step could be a decentralised system where people can tinker with the rules with mods and extensions.It turns out the role of the internet company is not to create and innovate but to perceive an inspect.The Digital — Physical landscapeWe can imagine our digital-physical worlds as two sides of the same coin that desperately want to be one and become this weird one-sided coin called a 2D plane. Okay not the best analogy, but the point is that right now we have a divide between what’s real and what’s not.We improve our digital technology to get rid of this division.As our technology progresses the digital landscape will be less and less abstract and start to merge with the physical one.To get to this, work needs to be done on the medium itself ( the digital landscape ) and the layer separating it from the real world.The layer separating our digital technology from the real world is our input and output technology.Input refers to a broad range of sensors that translate signals from the physical world to a digital environment.Cameras, voice recorders, proximity sensors are there to gather information that can be fed to the system.Output is how we receive information from the digital environment. It’s a signal that we can interpret with at least one of our five senses.It could be a monitor, a speaker or the haptic vibration of a controller.We are constantly trying to bring input and output technologies closer to what’s natural. We started with punch cards and text input and arrived at natural hand gestures and visual interfaces. VR and AR are bringing technology even closer, by substituting and altering our vision directly.We will soon be able to feel and taste the digital world and so the barriers disappear. Of course, we will never get rid of physical objects because we need them when we work with forces and materials but when the output is purely sensory and the most important currency is information we can remain in the digital landscape.Innovation will come from a good understanding of the digital & physical form-factor and from what needs to be one or the other or both.Woah you read it all the way ?-thank you person of the internet[embedded content]
Ir a la fuente / Author: Armin Jamak

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