Technological Transformation: The Magic Is Back

The following is a guest post from Mark Schaefer, author of “The Content Code” and “Known,” and co-host of Dell Technologies’ newest podcast, Luminaries – Talking to the brightest minds in tech. Throughout Dell World he had in-depth conversations with technology leaders across the Dell Technologies family of businesses, including Dell, Dell, VMware and Pivotal.

Dell Canvas and monitor on display at the Dell Experience at SXSW 2017

Do you remember when technology was magic?

I recall that feeling I had when I plugged my first laptop computer into the kitchen phone jack and entered the internet through that dial-up connection.

Back then, there wasn’t a whole lot to do on the web. I didn’t even know where to start, but a friend advised to me to try looking for NASA online. Apparently, they had photos of galaxies or something on their website. So I clicked on some mysterious looking file numbers and sure enough, over a period of about 10 minutes a photo of a galaxy began to download on my computer screen.

I yelled out to my wife and kids to come observe this miracle — a galaxy coming through the phone line!

It was magic. Pure magic.

Since then, technology has become ubiquitous and something we take for granted — the invisible hand that enables our daily connections, discoveries, and commerce. And that’s a good thing. The most useful technology shouldn’t get in the way. It connects and serves us in a seamless, quiet manner.

But the awe and mystery of your first online experience might just be coming back.

I was fortunate enough to attend Dell World recently, and the word that kept coming into my head was “magic.” The emerging capabilities on display at the event were so cool, so mystifying, so jaw-dropping, that for the first time in a long time, I found myself saying “wow” like I did those years ago when I downloaded my first galaxy.

If you love to dream about what tech could be like at its most fun, you’re probably a fan of the movie Minority Report, especially the scene where Tom Cruise is pushing and pulling data around through the air.

Turns out, this is within reach … literally and figuratively.

Dell showed a promotional video that featured Nike designers donning Metavision Meta 2 glasses, grabbing thin air and manipulating a conceptual shoe projected onto the space in front of them like holograms. And then those holographic shoes … ran, jumped and walked through all types of environments in a virtual testing lab. Magic!

Mixed reality is also coming to less glamorous places like the industrial workplace where safety helmets are fitted with comfortable shields displaying a digital overlay to their normal work environment. This helps workers complete assembly and maintenance tasks more safely, efficiently, and error-free with the help of real-time heads-up displays. Research shows that there could be enormous cost-saving potential from this technology.

Immersive reality is also about to transform our home lives in magical ways. In a “guru session” at the Dell event, Unreal Engine creator Tim Sweeney showed how the rapid improvement in displays, sensors, graphics, and digital human technology will enable an Augmented Reality metaverse revolutionizing human social interaction. Sweeney demonstrated the next wave of breath-taking virtual worlds that will forever change the way we work, collaborate, discover, and entertain ourselves. He forecast that virtual reality will be the next billion-user platform … and it’s easy to adopt that vision.

These magical developments are coming at us fast, but it all depends on massive and reliable computing power, storage, and cybersecurity. At Dell World, the company announced massive product refreshes for virtually its entire line of products, including a new 14th-generation PowerEdge server, new data protection tools, more powerful computers, and updates to its entire storage lineup.

The show impressed upon me that Dell is staying ahead of the game by becoming an expansive, end-to-end, and fully-unified technology company. Cloud, security, laptops, tablets, software, storage … there’s no piece of the digital transformation that isn’t available through the formidable Dell Technologies family of companies.

Yes, haptic design, immersive new virtual reality worlds, and a collaborative metaverse may seem like magic, but it’s all dependent on the power, the storage, and the security provided by Dell Technologies.

Mark Schaefer is a business consultant, university educator, and author of six books including “KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age.” He is a co-host of Luminaries, a Dell Technologies podcast exploring digital transformation. Dell compensated him for his expenses at Dell World.

About the Author: Konstanze Alex