The Next Computing Revolution Will Take Us Beyond the Screen, but in Which Direction?http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/04/01/the-next-computing-revolution-will-take-us-beyon.aspx Alex Planes
April 1, 2013
There's a war going on out there. It's not the war for mobile between Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), with everyone else launching half-hearted sallies at an occasional exposed flank. No, this war may have more far-reaching implications: It's over the delivery of your digital experience. Will the future be spread out before you in full 3-D like the iconic Star Trek holodeck, or embedded with your inner life, unique and unseen to anyone else? Let's see where the major players stand on this battlefield, and what their stances might mean for the future of computing.
Open immersion: the holodeck approach
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has been an early proponent of the projected display, which resulted in the OmniTouch project in 2011, and, more recently, the IllumiRoom, which is the closest thing to a "holodeck" our 21st-century technology can come to Star Trek's 24th-century wizardry. Here's a video of the IllumiRoom in action:
Other tech companies are hard at work on ways to create holograms, which would help expand IllumiRoom beyond the wall and into the room itself. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), for example, unveiled a 3-D display technology from its HP Labs that attempts to create holograms with LCD technologies already available. It's not quite as exciting as Microsoft's project, and it appears further away from commercialization (to say nothing of video production values), but you can see a video of HP's display in action as well:
Apple has apparently been working on a less-immersive form of projection that simply links devices to a projector, for which it received a patent in 2011. Apple has the resources and the technical expertise to pursue either a room-projection or a 3-D holographic projection system -- or both. The question is: Does anyone at Apple really want to?
Inner experience: the wearable approach
Or are its first public users more likely to experience something simpler, like this next video, which provides a helpful (but not intrusive) overlay on a corner of your world?
Apple also happens to