"Just give me a button to push, or a switch to flip, a key to put in the ignition, or just let me say, “start!"
In the future…. You won’t even need to, or be aware -the systems will think, anticipate, and do for you.
"If you only eat what you know, and never risk trying to eat something you don't know - you simply risk never learning to really know yourself. " (me -this morning - 2015)
These are the paths for what consumers and CEO’s want. Lets be honest, there is nothing better than taking a product out that does a lot, opening the box, putting it out on the table and hitting the start button and it works perfectly.
Usually we smile and go, “wow, what a well designed product! What genius!”
My wife is Ying and I am Yang - or perhaps i an Ying and she is Yang? While she is an amazing woman in most areas of her life, there are a few edges that have me wonder, much like my edges with the years of past work that amounted to a wealth of experience and information in the quest to build a new show – don’t seem to mean anything in her world. Such are the moments of trying to see another persons point of view and perspective.
Perhaps that is why I laugh so hard at Nikolas Tesla's quote that he couldn’t really find many inventors that were married.
Today I was going to sit in on a Dolby Atmos system tuning. My wife thinks that is a waste of time and “Why would want to sit around doing nothing. You didn’t’ invent it! It isn't work!
My wife has words and the lost in translation that are akin to putting a blasting cap into a piece of plastique and hitting the detonator button. While i realize she doesn't mean it (or let me live in fanstasy land and believe she doesn't mean it) I have the problem of remembering, building, and doing the work; of how hard, all the hours and time, all the pieces of equipment one had to learn about with no one to guide, and taking a bunch of lines scribbled onto a piece of hotel paper in 1991 that was the first idea of the matrix for a 360 degree full spectrum sound field. (do I mention I am NOT a sound man here?)
I can even tell you how the journey all started, i thought, “Wouldn’t this really be amazing if we could play and mix audio in this way? above, below, right, left, around..through... What would it sound like?”
Today is about how many years, how many hours and how many failures and tribulations, it usually takes to get an idea to market.
What is interesting today, is that for innovation, you are relying more on teams that one guy in the lab. If you look at the process of Nobel Prize winners in the past 50 years, you go from a few guys in a lab to what really amounts to a team of people with one leader getting the credit for the work. Someone came to us years ago with the idea to tour the Nobel Prize show as an educational adventure.
“Would you help us with idea for how to take these ideas to a level people might understand.”
“Does a bear crap in the woods? This is an exciting topic! What a great idea for a show!” was my initial reaction.
Notice, there usually is that euphoric simplistic “wow” factor with an idea before one gets into the reality of the amount of time it takes to build something that can tour the world, pack up and unpack in a few hours, and be dazzling to consumers. With the Nobel show, I had a great time researching the scientific achievements of all the prizes, yet at the time, 3d visual systems were not up to snuff, nor was inexpensive computer horsepower to drive massive visual systems…. so the idea of really taking these amazing scientific discoveries down to the level where a five year old would understand, was a challenge. Then i thought, "how many people really care about these amazing inventions? are aware of them? want to really learn about them?"
My father used to comment that between the proof of concept in the lab and the roll out of the same technology to the mass market was 25 years. I really have no clue what my dad did, except we were told, “don’t screw up, or I can loose my job.” Years later, I finally understood why he always met me for lunch right in front of his offices. What was behind it was a lead lined wall with closed systems to the outside because with CRT it was easy to read the radiation off a computer screen from miles away (well, for us mortals it is hard, but when you have the government research funding…. god only knows what is really available)
I didn’t invent the Dolby atmos, what I have succeeded in inventing is a full spectrum “quasi- live” show that imploded the audience and provided a really interesting show that lead the spectator on one really amazing journey, and that journey had the ability to change each night –based on the audience.
This might sound pretty boring today, but it was 1998 when we pushed “play” and heard the rudimentary ideas of what was “possible” could be put into the show.
“Whatever you can imagine- is possible.”
Now imagine how do you allow that to happen in “live” form, and you will see all the things that can go wrong, and how many levels of redundancy you need. You will also see the accountants getting nervous, as the numbers get larger for a “new” idea.
The reality is that for a “new” idea to come into the market, usually the idea is not “new” in that for ages people have wondered “how” one could make it happen. Today we are at the forefront of artificial intelligent, advanced artificial intelligence and what I might deem “the age of the machine.”
Human beings will have to adapt and adjust to how they fit into this world. On one hand, man is a really good toolmaker. On the other hand, man really hasn’t evolved a great deal in 7-10,000 years with how he treats any version of his fellow man that is different than what he knows. Yesterday the Swiss women taught me “the farmer doesn’t eat what he doesn’t’ know.”
I wonder what percentage of the world “doesn’t’ want to try or experience something different than what they know” unless “there is no risk”
The later part seems to drive a large section of society. “No risk”
What the world wants is the ability to push a button, have wherever they wish appear, work perfectly, seamlessly, and evoke emotional responses in human beings, but have no, or perhaps I should say, “human liability cost” associated with it.
What is “human liability cost?” – I know there is a formal term for this, but right now it escapes me – but it boils down to the quantitative cost via lawsuits and payouts that one would insure oneself for in the case of some malfunction or accident of the item, experience, or activity.
So as a society, we want to live in a world of experiencing anything, yet we want, “no risk” with it.
“Ladies and gentlemen…. welcome to the world of entertainment! Bring on the illusion! The great news it only costs 20% of what the military and medical industry requires with accuracy levels to justify the human liability costs.”
So yes, I am not going to go watch this install of the Dolby system. It was simply something really fun and interesting for me, call it a moment of a bright light in a world where I walk around frustrated with not speaking, understanding, and finding any value I have as a human being might simply be going out to a farm to shovel manure. “But it is work!”
It brings me to the close here, as I really do like the steam outlet this blog has provided each day. Call it a pressure cooker release- who knew just firing out first draft thoughts would be such an interesting come down after brainstorming? Usually I would spend it drinking coffee with anyone and talking about anything for a bit, as the ideas of the morning would percolate.
My definition of work is this – “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result.”
To most of the world, I assume the definition of work is, “activity you do and get paid for because no one else wants to do it.”
The world between working for a wage, and working for your passions is probably what divides and sucks the creative spirit out of most people when they transition into the real world from childhood to adulthood. Each and every one of us has a choice with which path to take. One is riddled with uncertainty, risk, and moving in a dynamic way where the path changes sometimes each day, hour even minute. The second is more like taking an inner tube down a river. It is safe, nice, doesn’t’ change much and provides a nice journey – hopefully with few rapid.
What the later group does not see is the amount of time, effort, changes, modifications and false or incorrect solutions it takes when bringing an idea to a level where you go to a store or click on a website and hit the order button to purchase a product or service – have it delivered exactly when you want, and when you open or download it – it works perfectly.
Usually it is a small army of people that make that illusion reality. In the start is one or two people with an idea, then a slightly larger team that resembles more of a military special forces group – then expansion and scale – revisions, refinements, innovations – how does this relate to what I am rambling about?
When you get to the level of “hit the play button, or turn on the switch,” you can go into a movie theater, and go “wow, that was amazing audio”
The good news is few can afford to put the systems into their homes, so they never get used to hearing this “new” sound system. Most of the world is doesn’t’ know what great sound is really like. I was once told that the average person might be able to differentiate 3-5 audio cues. A decent soundman or musician up to 12, and while I never talked with an orchestra conductor, it is said, “they hear each individual instrument.” (A full size orchestra might have 100 instruments)
As I walk around, I am seeing more kids not using ear buds, but playing their mp3’s through little speakers. I get the idea, “share you music with the world!” But I really want to smack Dr. Dre and ask him, “Why did you do this? Why? I really don’t want to hear everyone’s music playing through underpowered and compressed systems that when the kid turns it up all the way to 11 – you get the sound of distorted crap.”
This is why the mass will go to a theater and not realize what they are listening too each day is probably not the best, but they are trained in a diluted audio experience. If they worked in the Dolby Atmos each day, much like what it is like the first time you go from cheap speakers to a set that is of high quality. When you first listen with them, you go “ick!”
Just take 3 days and listen with the “higher” quality speakers…. then listen to your old ones. You will usually go “ick!” to the old ones (unless you have hearing loss and/or a bad case of tinnitus)
Thanks for listening to an inventor vent for a bit. I pray there is something interesting in this ramble?
My wife wasn’t in the lab for 20 years watching us work on full audio, visual and olfactory work. She has no clue what I really did. The reality is she probably never will. Even when we get to Colorado and the Augmanity test platform goes live on the mountain – she won’t really care, or understand what is actually going around her with technology.
Perhaps she is actually my ideal test consumer? She likes things that you just push a button and it works. What she would probably like is the robotic cleaning system that she could think “this is how clean I want something” and the bot would understand and provide a sterile, perfectly clean environment that you could actually do surgery off of with no fear of infection.
Yes, I would program an Easter egg in, that would put one speck of dirt out on the table or countertop that would fill some peoples mindset about perfection. We used to do it pitching ideas for toys for one past client that wanted to think our ideas were theirs. So we would take the actual idea, then put a dot or something that simply was so obvious it didn’t belong as a way to back the client into the better idea. “I want that part off…look at my new idea!” Was the expression.
You see – entertainment works everywhere! The reality is it works too well. People forget the "actors" are simply "acting." it isn't reality.
What I am interested in is reality. Not virtual, but reality. I am grateful for all the work I was able to do with audio, visual, olfactory and telepresensce in my life. It actually allowed me to get a place in life where I had to look inside myself and see the good, bad and ugly of myself. I used to think technology was the key to helping one see that.
The reality is you simply need to be still –sans any technology.
My wife asked, “What you aren’t going to the theater?”
I reply, “Not anymore, I already know what it sounds like – I heart it in my basement in 1994. I simply wanted to do was go and see how the little improvements, sonic fidelity, issue of real time equalization is handled in a theater space and how the man is tuning the room…by seat? Or as a full space? I wanted to go because in a land where i feel like a martian, it was a really nice treat that i was invited to go watch something i am vary familiar with. it would have been fun."
Perhaps that is why after a several thousand shows, I really don’t go to movies or shows anymore – when you have designed ideas beyond what is possible today – you simply have to wait.
Until then, you take what you know, and apply it to the “new” ideas.
I sit here each day and look up t heaven and ask, “god, what do you really want me to do?”
I know the actual answer has very little to what I do, but god is more interested in who I am, and what I am inside. The struggle is that we live in a world that is more bent on enjoying and experiencing things at a push of a button, than taking the time to bring change and ideas, understanding how it all works and doesn’t’ work – to come up with one or two ideas out of tens of thousands that really are good ideas.
Live entertainment took me into the research lab – it has taken me to the middle of a dessert where I looked in an old mans eyes with no technology – back into the world where two ideas seem to be ever present. One is about bringing the basic elements of life with food, water, shelter and energy to those with nothing.
The other ironically is to take technology in a world that is all about not really doing much, but pushing buttons and instead of giving them more things – it alleviates the need to think about the normal “things” in life.
Ideally, they could use the free time to talk to other humans, or look deeper inside themselves.
One has to have a dream, no? Have a great day. Once again, I have no idea what I typed – may it be of benefit to someone.