Episode 48: Feeling the Future: The Tangible Physics of Mixed Reality & Digital Twins
October 30 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm PDT
Today we explore the visceral nature of Mixed Reality and Digital Twins. Can these new forms of media help us experience in a tangible way our future scenarios? We mean Visceral: as in punch-in-the-gut, emotional and oh-so-real. How might reality tools that draw on the world building and immersive nature of games, along with the physics and economics of the real world help us understand the tomorrow and bring it back from the future to today so that we can take action before it’s too late? And could we build citizen-centered “API’s” for critical infrastructures that last for generations? How might architects, engineers, planners, builders & communities play together and evolve towards a better world?
We’ll be joined by Timoni West VP of VR/MR tools at Unity as we explore the power of emerging augmentation tools which promise to become entirely new forms of media as fundamental as the spoken word, printing and the internet. We’ll look to the history of computing (and a visit with Dr. Vannevar Bush who demanded that the Web be invented back in 1946) and forward to the march of semiconductors and machine learning power as we consider the entertainment, enterprise and societal impact of immersive media. Timoni will share how organizations are beginning to build new tools to simulate the built world before it’s built and what might happen when this becomes the way things are done.
Next, Mark Enzer, The Head of the UK’s National Digital Twin Program at the Centre for Digital Built Britain University of Cambridge will join the conversation as we explore why the United Kingdom has chartered a national digital twins initiative. Could a digital replica of the infrastructure, communities, cities and even country as a whole be seen as a new framework for decision-making? Might a digital “stunt-double” of the UK’s infrastructure have allowed us to try out thousands of iterations for how to cope with major climate challenges or economic tradeoffs before they became emergencies? Could crash test dummies of our world be the key to keeping all of humanity from being sentenced to a future that is unimaginable? Because we can imagine it now, in all its gut-punching glory and feel the impact on ourselves and our families and businesses, could this finally usurp dry powerpoint charts, heavy tomes or an inconvenient truth or two that has no power to change our ways?