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Today I had the pleasure of spending some time with an outstanding student from Carnegie Mellon. Naturally, our conversation steered towards augmented reality technologies, the geospatial internet and its ramifications, emerging input-output modalities for ubiquitous computing, and killer apps for head-up displays like, say, this one or its descendents.

We discussed how the internet as we know it today is very static. I visit '' and the experience ends as soon as I shut off my browser or go to a new URL. The emerging internet paradigm of a persistent metadata layer totally redefines the notion of a 'web site'. It turns a web site into an environment. If you can conceive that every building, every billboard, every car and every object can have their own IP address, and communicate with the internet and with each other, then you are well on your way to understanding where the web is heading. And it's not just heading there because I say it is. Check out the last couple of posts about internet maps and what Google, Yahoo and Microsoft want to do with them.

(To the data warehousing and business intelligence professionals reading this -- the metadata layer will mean exponential increases in the amounts of data that need to be cleansed, aggregated and presented to users so your jobs are safe probably.)

Given that the transformation of the internet into a metadata layer of software and services might take a little while, what are some immediate opportunities made possible by a heads up display?

Some interesting answers to this one. For airline pilots, a head up display could tell you if you've pressed 'the right button or the wrong button.' For scientists, the display could provide information about what's visible in a microscope. For people working on circuit boards, the display could tell you about defects that are invisible to the eye.

The place to look for good ideas about where the internet is headed and what kinds of changes to make to devices like Nomad in order to start to scale up towards significant revenues are places like Carnegie Mellon or other leading universities where students have been connected to the web all their lives and are bristling with ideas about what's next, what's next. These kids are bored with the limitations of the internet as we know it, and certainly with 2" LCD panels.

These are the people who want to make science futurism into the present day reality and usher in the paradigm shifts towards persistent geospatial computing.

To MVIS, let's be like Google and just hire some insanely smart people and then turn them loose to figure out what to do with the platform.


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