Why the Internet of Things and Virtual Reality are strictly related
The Internet of Things is bringing us to connect an enormous amount of smart devices, with their own processing power. In 2015 there is an estimated 5 billion devices connected to the Internet. By 2020 this number will go up to about 25 billion connects smart object, devices, cars, satellites and more…
Each of these smart devices is bringing additional processing power within the Internet of Things. This is because each single device (most of them) connected has its own processing power which can be allocated to process data and perform processing tasks. These tasks are, of course, mainly the ones for which the device of IoT product has been created for. For example a smart washing machine will always use its core processing power to wash… But there are always times during the day, when devices are idle or do not use their full processing power capacity. What this means is that this processing power can be used to perform other tasks within the Internet.
Going through cloud computing, the age of big data and the IoT, we are heading towards a hyper-connected version of the Internet, whereby “connected” does not only mean linked within a network, it signifies a complex sharing and exchange relationship between virtual and physical resources and entities, which include humans and in the future, biological matter, after the IoT.
The sharing of processing power is only the beginning, as we all know by now, we will see an exponential number of disruptions in the next years, one of them being Virtual Reality.
As the IoT, VR is at its “official” beginnings, with the big names entering the market, but most of all, technology being ready to support it. Even thou the first VR experiences were created back in the sixties, is only after 50 years that Virtual Reality is about to enter people’s homes.
So how does Virtual Reality relate to the Internet of Things and what I mentioned in the introduction of this post? Well, the reason why it took 50 years to get to VR, is because technology enablers where not existing. The most important of all — after of course computers and the internet — to truly have a share virtual reality experience, being the calculus power and connection speed, to “power up” a truly interconnected virtual reality environment.
To make up a virtual reality space, you need 3D models, animations, sound, images and so on. To make all this run smoothly in a shared environment, allowing people to experience it in real time, it takes a lot of power and speed. Where this power and speed lies, is in the Internet, or what we currently call the Internet of Things. The future IoT, the Internet in the next years, will be a “self calculus powered entity”, which will allocate power and speed where and when needed. This will be one of the main factors, that will allow us to reach a level where we will share a truly immersive virtual reality experience.
The vast number of VR and smart devices being launched on the market right now, are important too, but it takes a system architecture to connect them to, to make use of them.
At our present time, if we connected all devices in the world into a single virtual world, we would have a virtual environment already much larger than the extension of the earth itself. All this can be powered up by all the devices connected in the Internet. We can start building a shared virtual reality world, that will be increasingly more realistic, vivid and immersive, as we increase our calculus and resource sharing capacities.
That is why the IoT is strictly related and important for VR to be possible. Because it’s the infrastructure of machines and calculus power that will sustain the future of the Internet in 3D: Virtual Reality.