Immersive Digital Experience: Unlocking Its Potential : Daily Current Affair Article

Why in News?

The National Museum in the capital showcases more than 2 lakh objects dating back across thousands of years, with immersive digital technology — a first in the country.

Key digital features in museum

  • Now, visitors don’t just have to view an inscription of a prehistoric cave, read about it on a display and move on to the next object.
  • They get a 270-degree digitally-projected experience of actually being in that cave as well as learning about that era, with the help of augmented reality (AR) projection system.
  • A 17th-century Ragamala painting, meanwhile, now tells its own story through 3D holograms and transparent organic LED screens with audio, video and animation.
  • There are also digital touch-walls in various galleries that prompt visitors to scan and download an app, which becomes a virtual guide that changes depending on where you are in the museum, and which wall or which installation you interact with.
  • The 3D holograms dotting the installations, some even walking alongside the visitor, inform and educate in a way the stolid display write-ups never could.
  • There is also the Rotoscope, where eight different stories on the Buddha come alive through digitally immersive tools; an interactive digital lotus pond where visitors can “dip their feet”; “flipbooks” where visitors can wave their hands and jump to turn pages and learn new stories of history; and “time travel”, where one can digitally place themselves in any historic age, installation or painting.

Immersive Digital Technologies-Boon or Bane

Immersive Technology is any technology that extends reality or creates a new reality by leveraging the 360 space.

Digital Technology Benefits

  • Social Connectivity- Digital technology makes it easy to stay in touch with friends, family, and work remotely, even if you are in another part of the world. You can communicate by words, video, audio, and exchange other media. Websites, apps, and software have all been created to help users to socialize. Social media, messaging, texting, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones, mean that nobody need feel isolated in the digital world. Users can be regularly updated with news on local events and social happenings.
  • Communication Speeds- Internet speeds have increased exponentially since the early days of dial-up. Ever faster broadband enables the transfer of large amounts of information across the web almost instantaneously, making it possible to stream video and audio in real-time, send large data files and access data from virtually anywhere in the world. Traditional media communication can take much longer.
  • Versatile Working- The nature of work has been transformed by digital technology. Increased connectivity options mean that many people now have far more opportunities for working from home, as remote working becomes increasingly common. Many jobs can now be done from hundreds, or even thousands of miles away without difficulty. Without the need for all workers to be present in the same building, many other flexible working practices are now possible.
  • Learning Opportunities- Anybody with access to the internet now has access to a huge proportion of the world's knowledge over the web. Lessons and courses can now be delivered virtually online. Communication advances mean that you can now easily communicate with most of the world's population and learn directly from sources.
  • GPS and Mapping- Finding your way around used to involve referring to a paper map, but digital combined with satellite technology has transformed travel. GPS services can now pinpoint your position accurately, update you on traffic jams and road closures in real-time, and give you lots of up-to-date information such as time of arrival at your destination, as well as alternative routes. If you want to find a gas station or drugstore that's open, that's easy too.
  • Automation- Digital technology is increasingly making machines smarter. In some cases, the machines no longer need humans to operate them, freeing up workers from often repetitive tasks for more interesting jobs. In other cases, smarter machines mean better standards of safety or a better experience for the user. Products and services drop in price as the technology develops and becomes more common. Many tasks can now be done directly by customers, rather than having to be done through another person acting as an intermediary, for instance, booking a holiday.
  • Transportation- Many trains and airplanes already rely to an extent on digital technology. Road vehicles, such as cars and trucks, will become fully automated in the not too distant future. Accessing timetables, as well as booking planes and trains now often take place online. Passports contain digital chips that hold information, enabling self-service machines to speed up the process of checking in and passing through customs.

Disadvantages of Digital Technology

  • Data Security- Digital technology means that vast amounts of data can be collected and stored. This can be private information concerning individuals or organizations. It can be very difficult to keep this data safe. Just a single breach can mean vast amounts of private information going into the hands of criminals, terrorists, business rivals, foreign adversaries, or other malign entities.
  • Crime and Terrorism- The internet is fertile territory for malevolent forces to operate, thanks to its international nature, vast scale, and the relative anonymity that users can enjoy. Examples of this include: terrorists using social media to promote themselves and encourage others; drug dealers using the dark web to trade; pedophiles using chat rooms and other places to groom potential victims, exchange photos, videos and other information; and authoritarian regimes attempting to sway or distort elections in democratic countries.
  • Privacy Concerns- It's become much harder to have personal privacy in the digital world and that's on top of the dangers of your personal data being stolen or sold. For instance, everybody has the ability to take photos and video footage on their mobile phone, and then post it online.
  • Social Disconnect- There is an increasing tendency for people to socialize and communicate via digital devices rather than through real-life contact. Studies have suggested that the lack of real-life contact is causing depression and other forms of mental illness in many people.
  • Digital Media Manipulation- Digital media such as photographs, audio, and video are easy to edit, making the manipulation of media widespread. It's not always easy to tell what is real and what is fake anymore. Photographs can be altered using editing tools such as Photoshop. Digital audio and video can be doctored. The issues will only intensify as the technology improves.
  • Plagiarism and Copyright- Digital media is remarkably easy to copy and reproduce. Copyright laws are increasingly hard to enforce, as the music and movie industries have discovered to their cost. School kids can copy and paste their homework projects without really learning anything. A culture of "sharing" on social media means that often the original creator of a piece of media is forgotten, as the piece is adapted and claimed by others.
  • Addiction- Social media, computer games, messaging, and dating websites can all be addictive. Games want you to play so that you will buy the next version. Websites want you to interact so that they can bring in advertising money. Users end up wasting vast amounts of time and hemorrhaging money for low return.
  • Overreliance on Gadgets- Reliance upon mobile phones, computers, and other digital gadgets has become common. Many people have all their contact information, photographs, texts, and other personal information on their phones. If they lose them, or the gadget breaks or runs out of power, then they are in trouble. Basic living skills, like finding one's way around the streets of a town, have been replaced by taking directions from a GPS system.

Major Components of Immersive Digital Technologies (Holograms, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Touch screens Etc)

  • Holography is a photographic technique that records the light scattered from an object, and then presents it in a way that appears three-dimensional. Various types of holograms have been made over the years, including transmission holograms, which allow light to be shined through them and the image to be viewed from the side; and rainbow holograms, which are used for security purposes — on credit cards and driver's licenses.

  • Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. It is a growing trend among companies involved in mobile computing and business applications in particular.
  • Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

  • A touch screen is a display device that allows the user to interact with a computer using their finger or stylus. They're a useful alternative to a mouse or keyboard for navigating a GUI (graphical user interface). Touch screens are used on a variety of devices, such as a computer and laptop displays, smart phones, tablets, cash registers etc.

Applicability of the technology in India and the World

  • Experiential Marketing – Experiential marketing is one of the most common implementations of Immersive Technology in business where brands can set up interactive booths in trade shows, county fairs, malls or even sporting events where people can try promotional VR experiences.
  • Immersive Web Apps – Immersive Ads work best in mobile and it can be flexible as it works either in mobile web or in-app. Immersive Ads allow consumers to explore a brand within an ad unit seamlessly while browsing the internet – all without having to be redirected into a page.
  • Ecommerce & Shopping Tools – Immersive Technology has put new meaning to the term “online shopping.” As mentioned earlier, more and more stores are using AR apps to allow users to test out their products beforehand. Even with VR, brands like those within the car industry are using virtual showrooms where consumers can look at cars, take virtual test drives and even “sit inside” them.
  • The Healthcare Sector has always benefited from the advancement of technology and the coming of Immersive Technology is no different. Doctors and healthcare providers have discovered that Immersive Technology helps with relieving a patient’s pain as immersing them in an experience distracts them from what’s going on. For example, in a university in Canada, students developed a VR game that would immerse cancer patients during chemotherapy and thus, distract them from their pain.
  • Education has and can greatly benefit from Immersive Technology as it taps into the different senses of a human being. Immersive Technology like AR can even help students learn about the human body and how each part functions by overlaying digital images on an actual person and highlighting where the different parts are located.

Immersive Technology in the sector of Tourism

  • Immersive Technology gives travel brands the opportunity to tap into consumers’ emotions in a way they that never could before, while still being able to showcase the amenities and benefits available in their destination.
  • It takes the travel shopping experience to a whole new level and also gives consumers a chance to tour a destination before actually booking a reservation. It’s the perfect sales tool for travel advertisers.
  • Another way that travel brands can use Immersive Technology is by leveraging AR or even MR to highlight certain spots of a destination while people are physically at a destination. For example, tourists could be walking around while wearing Immersive Glasses and the glasses point out different historical events or fun facts related to that particular spot – kind of like a virtual tour guide, if you will.
  • Travel brands can even use Immersive Technology to help those who are afraid of riding an air plane or even a boat by using the technology to immerse them in an environment that would calm them down or allow them to think of something else.
  • Virtual tours can also be applied to other industries like real estate, engineering, construction, etc

Need of Wide scale Infrastructure for Implementation of Such Technologies

  • Infrastructure investment in digital technology—increased access to mobile broadband, fiber-optic cable connections, and power-supply expansion—combined with the expansion of low-cost smart phones has enabled millions of Indians to connect to the internet.
  • The number of enterprises and households that now have access to a computer has increased dramatically, and internet consumption is growing in double digits. This digital transformation has been accompanied by a growing wave of technological entrepreneurship.

Way forward

Digital technology has transformed nearly every aspect of modern life. Travel, work, shopping, entertainment, and communications are just some of the areas that have been revolutionized in recent decades. It's now rare to find an electronic device or piece of machinery that doesn't incorporate digital technology in some way. On the good side, digital technology can connect a child to information and to a larger community. It can bring future opportunities for work and career. But on the bad side, it can also bring great harm and stress – especially for a child who does not know how to use the internet thoughtfully. Therefore we should be very careful in adopting the immersive technology.

Source- Indian express , livescience

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