As powerful networked device capabilities continue to enter mainstream use, several technology companies have released "vision" videos portraying how capabilities like augmented reality, flexible OLED screens, and rich sensors can alter our lives in the future. Considering Apple has sold over 50 million iPhone and iPod touches with location, user orientation, multi-touch, light/dark, device orientation & motion, proximity, audio, image & video, and device communication sensors -it's hard to see why the current wave of technology is capturing people's imagination.
Microsoft Lab's Vision of 2019 features a “transparent wall” between two classrooms around the world, animated drawings, realtime conversation translations, surface displays, electronic boarding cards, transparent displays, mini projectors among many others. Of course, no Microsoft vision would be complete without the obligatory parody.
Nokia's Mixed Reality highlights new types of interactions involving near-to-eye displays, gaze direction tracking, 3D audio, 3D video, gesture and touch. It also shows how in the future, boyfriends will have the power to be super annoying :)
Do these kinds of vision pieces help companies build toward the future? Some argue "no". But consider Apple's Knowledge Navigator video created in 1987. Notice any similarities with the company's afore mentioned product lines? That said, its been 12 years since Apple released a vision video. Instead they ship visionary products.