Last week we attended two bay area tech conferences – the GPU Technology Conference (GTC), hosted by Nvidia, and the Game Developers Conference (GDC). While only 50 miles away from each other, the conferences have a very different feeling about them. GTC focuses on applications of artificial intelligence and deep learning, with many exhibitors looking to make B2B partnerships. GDC exhibits the new releases in the gaming world, from top console releases to garage-born labors of love. We attended both to learn about the cutting edge technologies emerging, and how our clients could benefit from them to become more efficient and competitive in the marketplace.
At GTC, we observed a demonstration using VR headsets that respond to camera input creating an AR-like experience. The consumer experience applications are boundless, especially in its ability to transport the user to the desired location. Real Estate has used VR to bring the home tour to the prospective buyer for years. The customer journey when looking for senior living communities mirrors the act of purchasing a home but the senior living industry never kept up with real estate in technology trends. Many seniors have limited mobility. Increase engagement by bringing the tour to them. Target pop-up locations at senior centers, churches, and events. Showcase the apartments, dining rooms, and gardens in an interactive and immersive tour. Seniors are more adaptable to new technology than most assume and appreciate new innovation.
A Test of Wits
A number of autonomous car technologies were featured at GTC. Clarion demonstrated its long-range autonomous summon technology. The new tech allows you to call your car to your current location before taking control, bypassing the stress of remembering where you parked or paying premium pricing for valet services. Chinese startups WeRide and AutoX announced at GTC they will leverage the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus to deliver Level 4 autonomous taxi and delivery services. While China doesn’t enforce the same regulations as the Western world, being “the first” will no doubt give these companies a leg-up on the competition. Pushing out new technology before it’s sufficiently vetted can also lead to its own consequences. Due to the perilous nature of self-driving technology, the next decade should be an enthralling test of wits for the industry, especially noting the impact of ridesharing apps since their debut 8 years ago.
The Bizarre and Amazing
Our favorite section at GDC was the alt.ctrl community. Showcasing non-conventional controllers as well as platforms, the radical experience challenges the mind and energizes the soul. One of the most avant-garde games is Hellcouch, where the players interact with an actual sofa in a fight to exorcize a demon from the piece of furniture. As always, the more the merrier, and the sounds, lights, and smoke machine add to the thrilling nature. Another very original but captivating game is Nour. This simulation invites players to work together to create food dishes like ramen, boba tea, and ice cream sundaes. Toppings are added by pushing buttons on a midi pad, originally designed to control synthesized musical instruments. While it may seem innocuous, the actual experience is at the same time pacifying and hypnotizing. Both of these games generate dynamic team-building and would work well in an office environment. The out-of-the-box approach is beneficial to create a mind shift when mentally drained or stuck on a project, or to break the tension accruing in a team environment.
What all of these fresh technologies and ideas have in common is pushing the boundaries of what is possible and changing the way we look at the world. This might seem daunting, and roadblocks could be right around the next bend, but with heavy research and planning, they can be prepared for anything. What they do with the notoriety will cement their future in their industry.