The next age of virtual meetings, which is the next step beyond video conferencing of today, will require a few key changes.
Apple is currently positioned perfectly to deliver those changes, based on what was announced at WWDC 2020.
I wish there was a way for me to be a part of making this happen. But, I’m nobody.
Does someone who might have the network and clout to bring about this next age of virtual meetings want to chat?
I’ll lay it out here:
(1) 2-D or even 3-D positioning of attendees. It matters where people are in virtual space in relation to other attendees, because of what functionality this information will enable in conjunction with the other changes I’m talking about.
(2) 3-D psychoacoustic stereo: iPad accelerometers/gyroscopes + AirPods at WWDC 2020 will deliver this for movie watching according to the unveil. We need this capability for virtual meetings.
And, once these two things are implemented, this becomes the key:
(3) Full duplex audio. Multiple people must be able to speak at the same time.
We’ve had (1) for a while now. I was totally disappointed when Second Life failed to continue to innovate towards the future I’m describing.
Apple announced (2) just this year. This is a huge milestone, I haven’t seen much fanfare about it so I suspect people don’t realize how big a deal this really is. This one tech will have such a profound impact, it’ll be fun to look back at this moment.
We’ve had the ability to implement very basic full-duplex audio for a long time. Matter of fact, some telecommunications products have already offered it, but in the essentially one-dimensional world of conferencing, it’s not a great feature. But, it is the key to unlocking the future of telecommunications.
Maybe in a subsequent post I’ll go into detail about examples of why this is important, but I’ll share an incredibly simple use case that should give people who see where this is going the “a-ha” moment:
We need to get to the point where I can virtually “lean over” to an attendee positioned adjacent to me, and I must be able to actually whisper into their ear, so they can hear what I’m saying as well as hear what other speakers are saying, as though we were actually in physical space doing the exact same thing.
The tech is now all here. The computational capacity is here. This is an exercise of combining these things into a product that delivers on this functionality. And when someone finally does it, it will change our lives in such a profound way, like the Internet has when it was made accessible to the mass market.
I’d love to be part of the team that makes this happen, but I know that would be reaching far above my DNA, so I’ll have to settle for just putting this out there and hoping someone who actually can make this a reality picks it up, because I’d love to get a chance to live in that world that this change will create.