V.R. Is Not a Hit. That’s OK.


This article is a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a part of the On Tech e-newsletter. You can be a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a part of acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related associated associated acceptable related associated related acceptable associated associated associated associated related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related related acceptable related related related related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated related associated associated related associated related acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated related associated associated related related associated related related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related related acceptable associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related related related associated related associated associated related associated associated related associated associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related related associated related associated associated related acceptable associated related associated related associated related related related associated related related related acceptable related associated related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related associated related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable associated related acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable proper appropriate correct proper right here to amass it weekdays.

You shouldn’t be going to all by the least watch a film in digital actuality with mates, it is not going to matter what Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg urged 5 years beforehand. You shouldn’t be going to all by the least purchase stuff with the computer-based worldwide money Bitcoin. You shouldn’t be going to all by the least zip spherical in a robot-driven automotive.

These utilized sciences excite of us’s imaginations and defend monumental promise — nonetheless they may positively not be as extensively used as their proponents hoped. And that’s presumably OK.

Not each know-how must be contained all by the arms of billions of individuals to make a distinction. Finding a cozy residence of curiosity is presumably satisfactory.

Recently, my colleague Kevin Roose confessed his love of strapping on digital actuality goggles for apply routines that left him sweaty, sore and smiling. We’ll should take Kevin’s phrase that lunging at digital flying triangles on his patio is fulfilling, nonetheless it’s noteworthy as a outcomes of V.R. has largely been a disappointment.

Not so methodology as shortly as additional, V.R. was predicted to develop to be a Very Big Deal, nonetheless as a substitute most of us are glad to disregard it. The an comparable goes for a comparable know-how usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually furthermore usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually furthermore usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually furthermore usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually usually often often often usually referred to as augmented actuality, which mixes digital footage with the true world and permits of us to take a have a take a take a have a have a have a have a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a take a have a take a have a take a have a have a have a take a take a take a take a have a take a take a take a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a take a have a take a take a take a take a take a take a have a take a have a take a have a take a have a take a take a take a take a take a take a take a have a have a have a have a have a have a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a take a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a take a take a take a take a take a have a take a take a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a have a have a have a take a take a have a take a take a take a have a take a take a have a take a have a take a have a take a have a take a have a take a take a take a take a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a take a take a take a take a have a take a have a take a have a have a take a take a take a have a take a take a have a have a take a have a have a have a take a take a have a have a take a take a have a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a have a have a take a take a have a have a take a have a have a take a have a have a take a have a have a take a have a take a take a take a have a have a take a take a have a have a take a take a have a have a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a have a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a take a have a take a have a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a take a have a have a take a have a take a take a have a take a have a take a have a take a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a take a take a take a take a have a have a have a have a take a take a have a have a take a take a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a take a take a take a have a take a take a take a take a take a have a take a have a take a take a take a take a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a take a take a take a have a have a take a take a have a take a take a take a take a take a have a take a take a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a have a take a have a take a have a have a have a take a have a have a take a take a have a take a have a have a have a take a take a have a have a have a have a have a take a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a have a have a have a have a take a take a have a take a have a take a have a have a have a take a have a have a have a have a take a take a take a take a take a have a take a have a have a take a take a have a have a take a have a take a have a take a take a have a take a take a have a have a have a have a have a take a take a have a take a take a take a take a take a take a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a take a have a take a take a take a take a take a take a have a have a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a take a take a take a take a have a have a have a take a have a take a take a have a have a take a take a have a take a take a have a have a take a take a take a have a take a take a have a have a take a have a take a have a have a have a take a have a take a take a have a have a take a have a have a take a take a take a have a have a have a have a have a have a take a take a take a have a take a have a take a take a take a have a have a take a take a take a have a take a take a have a take a take a look at how a pair of shoes might look with their outfit or play the Pokémon Go smartphone game in the park.

Sales of some V.R. systems like Facebook’s Oculus did increase during the pandemic, and it’s possible that V.R. and augmented reality could still make it big as Apple, Facebook and other companies keep working on the technologies. For years, though, they have remained far outside the mainstream.

As Kevin’s column showed, that doesn’t mean that these technologies are destined for the dustbin of failure. It highlights the vast middle ground between a flop and a technology used by billions.

Like Kevin, I can imagine strapping on V.R. goggles to take a bike ride in an immersive virtual Sicilian countryside. And some of the most compelling uses I’ve seen for augmented reality have not been for sneakers and games, but in settings like factories and field service where workers might fix elevators while consulting virtual repair manuals.

I’ve written before about our affinity for cool technology over more pedestrian advances, and how this fixation can lead to overheated predictions that the latest flashy tech thing will take over the world. Our interest wanes if something turns out instead to be Not That Big of a Deal.

This pattern of hope for a cool new tech, followed by disappointment and then a possible second act is so common that the industry research group Gartner has given it a name: the hype cycle, with a low point (the “trough of disillusionment”) about where V.R. has been.

After the trough comes the slope of enlightenment, when people retool to figure out where a technology could be put to more effective use. (You either love these metaphors or you hate them.) The outcome may not be as momentous or world-changing as initially hoped, but that doesn’t make a technology pointless.

Like V.R., driverless cars may never hit the road in huge numbers — or they might! — but there are potential uses for short-haul delivery vans or fixed routes in office parks. Bitcoin seems so far like a pointless speculative plaything, but similar financial technologies could find a purpose in enabling collective ownership of communal projects like internet networks or local news organizations.

These niches don’t fit the breathless predictions that everyone in the world might use virtual currency or strap on V.R. goggles, but that’s not a terrible thing. Sometimes we need to lower the bar for success.


Monday’s newsletter had predictions from several of my colleagues about technology-related developments that could be huge in 2021. A New York Times health and science reporter, Katherine J. Wu, says she expects that at-home coronavirus tests will be widely available in 2021, and vaccines to combat Covid-19 may clear the way to tackle more diseases.

This may not be “technology” like software and apps, but initiatives to turn back the coronavirus are the biggest human innovation in years. More from Katherine:

The Food and Drug Administration in November and December gave the first emergency clearances for fully at-home coronavirus tests — products that can tell people in minutes whether they’re infected with the virus.

These tests, which are made by Lucira, Ellume and Abbott, aren’t as accurate as ones that route people’s samples through laboratories. But they’re faster, more convenient and should start rolling out en masse this year.

They cost $25 and up, some require a prescription and it’s not clear how insurance will work. But with long delays for conventional lab testing in many parts of the United States, many experts see at-home tests as a welcome pandemic-fighting tool.

And in vaccines, two of the ones designed to protect people against Covid-19 are based on a molecule called messenger RNA, or mRNA. It’s a landmark achievement. No other vaccines based on mRNA have made it to this stage before.

The mRNA contained within them is packaged into greasy bubbles that protect the material as it is delivered into cells. Once inside, the mRNA instructs the production of a so-called spike protein, which can teach the immune system to recognize and fight off the coronavirus.

Compared with the ingredients of other types of vaccines, mRNA is very easy to make in large quantities in the lab. Scientists think this will clear the way for many more mRNA vaccines in the future against many types of diseases — not just Covid-19.


  • This could be big in Southeast Asia: Two of Indonesia’s prominent young tech companies, Gojek and Tokopedia, are discussing the possibility of merging, Bloomberg News reported. If it happens, the combined company would be something like Uber, Amazon, DoorDash and PayPal under one roof — in a region where internet use is soaring.

  • What Georgia voters are seeing on Facebook: When Facebook ended a temporary ban on political ads ahead of Tuesday’s Senate runoff election in Georgia, the material in state residents’ Facebook feeds appeared to dramatically shift. Partisan campaign accounts started to elbow out election-related material from traditional news organizations, according to an analysis by the Markup of dozens of Facebook users in Georgia.

  • Is Jeff’s Beard Board the nicest place on the internet? An online forum about facial hair is a place for advice and “unfettered positivity,” Bianca Giaever wrote in The Times. Among the 23 rules for the beard forum: No harassment and no recommending Rogaine to promote growth.

A woman found a cat inside her Christmas tree at 4:15 a.m. (Except it was NOT a cat.) What followed was chaos, poking with brooms, a whining dog and a tussle over a light fixture. (If this happens to you, we’d recommend calling in the professionals.)



Source link Nytimes.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *