We might have started from living on the trees, hunting animals for our food and wearing animal skin or tree leaves to cover and be protected from weather so that our life kept advancing further. But in the course of these primitive techniques of living, it seems we never let go our thirst for gaining more and more knowledge. In all of this wandering from tree to tree down into caves to making small cottages, from hunting animals to raising crops and from covering with leaves and rough animal skin to wearing processed leather or fabric based clothes, we learnt through experience, by processing the information we had collected to lead us to the development and extraction of useful knowledge.
Our progress today owes all of its credits to the cognitive operation of the man which let him to always seek and process information even when he was a dweller in the wild dens, so as to develop some knowledge which could help him live his life in a better and improved way.
In the earlier stages of development mankind would rather focus on manipulating physical techniques to develop machines and tools which improved our quality of life significantly.
However during the nineteenth century the explosive development of science lead to innumerable discoveries and inventions that led man to an entirely new kind of a world. The most significant of all inventions and discoveries human kind had in the nineteenth century was computer – a machine that unlike all its precedents was not merely a physical equipment but had a non physical quintessence called operating system which consisted of coding digital bits in a definite sequence. It was after thousands of years therefore, we had learnt that life can’t only be improved by physical means but can be advanced to a far greater extent by digital techniques of coding.
Our age unlike any other age is special in that we know how to manipulate bits 1’s and 0’s so as to discover novel ways of living every next day. Of late more focus is being laid on AR ( standing for Augmented Reality and is a technology in which a composite view is provided by superimposing a computer generated image, on the user’s view of the real world), VR ( standing for Virtual Reality and is a technology in which a three dimensional image or environment is simulated by a computer which can apparently be physically interacted with by a person or user using special electronic equipments like helmets fitted with screens or gloves or shoes or something else wearable fitted with sensors) and 3D printing techniques ( also called additive manufacturing is a technology of manufacturing three dimensional solid objects using a special machine that reads from a digital file which stores the specification of the object in some coding language, and then processes this code to build the object later by layer). In this post it is my aim to present a futuristic view of the world in which AR, VR and 3D printing technologies are combined to a an amazing effect.
Imagine you wanted to build a house for yourself and you have your land somewhere around your city or your village and you know of a world famous architect ( living in another far off city X and can barely visit your site in person) who has helped a lot of people build beautiful homes that steal your heart and you want to take a design from that architect while keeping your local physical location and environment in perspective. Or if you wanted something that you are in immediate need of, but unfortunately, which is not available in your city and can only be bought from city X which is as far that you need two day air travel to reach there. However by that time the need that demanded the object has done the damage because of the lack of availability of the object on time. In such situations where urgency/hankering and unavailability are simultaneous in a particular place, the combination of VR, AR and 3D printing shall offer a great advantage having no precedent in the history. Where you want to take the design from the architect you could connect with him using VR equipments which will interact with each other using IoT (internet of things). You can visit his firm virtually without moving from your own place, and interact as if physically with all the models that catch your eye make a number of selections, and thereafter superimpose the 3D model using your AR equipment on your actual site to check the feasibility and other parameters of the design. Once satisfied you then buy the design from the architect which is nothing more than a 3D printable digital file sent to you through internet. Once the code is received, its as simple as handing the contract over to a local 3D printing firm to get the final job done! Hurray! Your dream house in brick and mortar on your own land, out of the 1’s and 0’s which you virtually bought from another corner of the world.
In the second scenario, to avail something you need and which is not produced in your city, one can go shopping remotely to a superstore in a different location using IoT connected VR equipments, make a suitable selection from a variety of models and buy the 3D code from the vendor to get it printed almost immediately at your local 3D printing firm.
This is how I view world will come to work in future. Things may seem hypothetical in this article but as the technology may advance we shall be moving closer to world in which anything can be created/bought without one having to move out of his room or having to avail facility of delivery robots, drones or persons.