Dare Mighty Things

Oblong CEO John Underkoffler will speak on November 3 at Dare Mighty Things, the new confab marking Chicago as the place for all things tech in the Midwest.

The Dare Mighty Things conference will bring nearly 1,000 tech leaders from 17+ cities to the Auditorium Theater in Chicago November 3 to hear from a dozen world-class speakers on topics of innovation, invention, and the future.

Listed by Inc. in as one of 7 Influential Tech Conferences, putting it alongside some of the top global gatherings, Dare Mighty Things has previously earned worldwide recognition by consistently attracting some of the worlds most influential and innovative people in tech to Compute Midwest over the years and earning media coverage in Forbes, Fast Company & more. 

 You can still get tickets; be sure to use discount code DMT20 for a 20% off admission when you register. 

Oblong CEO John Underkoffler, noted for his award-winning and influential work in computer science and UI design -which you’ve encountered in films such as “Minority Report” and “Iron Man” - will be talking about spatial computing and the future of human-computer interface. The talk is titled SYNCHRONIZED MINDS.

A new kind of user interface technology allows human minds to be brought into intimate contact around all kinds of problem solving, deep analysis and synthesis, and acts of pure invention. This new UI acts like the digital analogue of air: air is a neutral medium for the transmission of ideas in any direction, using any language, and even in parallel and overlapping ways. Foundationally, the future of human endeavor (and perhaps survival) depends on collaborative thought, work, and behavior; so these interfaces will be crucial. But beyond that there are new forms of discovery that can only emerge from a tech-assisted human mode that's high density but ad hoc: jazz improvisation that can win a Nobel prize in physics.

Also speaking at Dare Mighty Things is Andy Grignon - who helped Steve Jobs build the first iPhone, plus Forbes Science Editor Alex Knapp, NASA's Mars 2020 Mission Leader Jordan Evans, NYT Bestselling Author

For more information and to register for the one-day conference ($499 until October 20), go to daremightythings.co and use discount code DMT20 for a 20% off admission, which includes a networking reception and other unique benefits.

Working with Watson

The goal of each Watson Experience Center—located in New York, San Francisco, and Cambridge—is to demystify AI and challenge visitor’s expectations through more tangible demonstrations of Watson technology. Visitors are guided through a series of narratives and data interfaces, each grounded in IBM’s current capabilities in machine learning and AI. These sit alongside a host of Mezzanine rooms where participants further collaborate to build solutions together.

The process for creating each experience begins with dynamic, collaborative research. Subject matter experts take members of the design and engineering teams through real-world scenarios—disaster response, financial crimes investigation, oil and gas management, product research, world news analysis—where we identify and test applicable data sets. From there, we move our ideas quickly to scale.

Accessibility to the immersive pixel canvas for everyone involved is key to the process. Designers must be able to see their ideas outside of the confines of 15″ laptops and prescriptive software. Utilizing tools tuned for rapid iteration at scale, our capable team of designers, data artists, and engineers work side-by-side to envision and define each experience. The result is more than a polished marketing narrative; it's an active interface that allows the exploration of data with accurate demonstrations of Watson’s capabilities—one that customers can see themselves in.

Under the Hood

Underlying the digital canvas is a robust spatial operating environment, g‑speak, which allows our team to position real data in a true spatial context. Every data point within the system, and even the UI itself, is defined in real world coordinates (measured in millimeters, not pixels). Gestures, directional pointing, and proximity to screens help us create interfaces that more closely understand user intent and more effectively humanize the UI.

This award-nominated collaboration with IBM is prototyped and developed at scale at Oblong’s headquarters in Los Angeles as well as IBM’s Immersive AI Lab in Austin. While these spaces are typically invite-only, IBM is increasingly open to sharing the content and the unique design ideas that drive its success with the public. This November, during Austin Design Week, IBM will host a tour of their Watson Immersive AI Lab, including live demonstrations of the work and a Q&A session with leaders from the creative team.

Can't make it to Austin? Contact our Solutions team for a glimpse of our vision of the future at our headquarters in the Arts District in Los Angeles.

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