i3 - May/June 2017 - 31

before we want it." In the near future,
I can see similar (if smaller-scale)
networks coming online for sporting
events and concerts. Imagine being
able to order hot dogs and beers
from your seat, then picking them
up without waiting in line. Or purchasing the souvenir your kid wants
and grabbing it at a take-out window on your way home.
Wynn Hotels in Las Vegas are
experimenting with Amazon Echo
in guestrooms to serve as virtual
concierges and provide, as Steve
Wynn puts it, "the ability to talk to
your room." The question, however,
is what would I want to say to my
room? As of this writing, details
were not available, so we don't know
if the Echo would sync with a guest's
own Amazon account. If functions
are limited to basics like contacting
the front desk and reporting on the
weather, then it's essentially just a
speakerphone. Customization will help
make the experience of staying in a Wynn
hotel memorable.

BEYOND THE SCREEN
In the future, will we eliminate the need for
TV screens? Some new advances are heading
in this direction. Sony's Xperia Projector
makes any surface interactive; an infrared
sensor detects your finger movement and
responds as a touch screen would. It can
project an image up to 80-inches wide, so it's
easy to see where this could be headed:
replacing the television with a small box you
can set anywhere. The days of arranging
entire rooms around screens will be over.
Next to go: physical wall-mounted thermostats and light switches?
Panasonic is moving in a similar direction
with its Window Augmented Reality (AR)
Projection. The technology displays images
on a window, so that fans seated in a stadium
suite can watch the game live and see the
same graphics shown on the ESPN TV broadcast during stoppages and replays.
BMW's HoloActive Touch system is one of
the first real-world examples of tech we've seen
for years in movies like Minority Report and
Iron Man - haptics-holographic displays. HoloActive not only responds to gestures, it provides tactile sensation as well, through ultrasonic sound waves, so that
drivers can keep their eyes on the road.

"No matter how
often we say
we're creeped
out by technology, we tend
to acclimate
quickly if it
delivers what
we want before
we want it."

The Sunflower Home
Awareness system deploys
an automated drone
when sensors in solarpowered lights on the lawn
detect movement.

USE THE FORCE. If there were a standard recipe for disruption, we'd share it. But decades of
experience have taught us striking a balance between surprise and expectations, wants and
needs, convenience and control, almost always works. Finding that balance is itself a negotiation,
between what consumers say they want and what only you can show them. n
C TA . t e c h / i 3

MAY/JUNE 2017

31


http://www.CTA.tech/i3

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