The Edge, part 8

Let’s think about a wearable based cyber experience in which all three levels work together: the Far Edge, the Near Edge and the Cloud. But first a quick review.

Your wearable takes care of all of the sensing and display of what you see and hear. The PC that is just a short 5G wireless hop away takes care of how to make sense of that information in the short term.

Meanwhile, the Cloud is building and maintaining the long term narrative. This narrative can take many forms, and is dependent on what you are doing and why.

So here is a scenario (just one of many): Suppose you are interacting with a virtual character on your desk. Your wearable allows you to see and hear that character. Accurate sensing and low latency display lets you experience the character as though it were really there.

Meanwhile your PC is wirelessly updating the low level intelligence of the character multiple times per second. Is the character acting angry, or happy, or confused? Does it approach or avoid objects on your desk, or show interest in other virtual characters?

Behind all this, the Cloud is maintaining a consistent personality and story. Its massive processing resources manage the more semantically challenging questions of why the character is behaving as it does, and assessing what the character might choose to do an hour from now, or next week — or in response to changing world events.

From your perspective, there is only the lifelike character that feels real to you. You develop an emotional attachment to this character both because it is part of your sensory world and because it has the power to surprise you.

Intellectually, you many know that the virtual character on your desk is the product of multiple complementary cybernetic systems in communication with each other. You may even understand much of the architecture that makes this possible.

But none of that will matter if the end result is an emotionally satisfying experience. After all, if you are watching a movie and your mind drifts to wondering what lens they used to film each shot, you’re probably not having the audience experience that the filmmakers were hoping for. :-)

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