Outside the Robert Z. Hawkins gallery on the third floor, the gathering crowd pressed me against what I thought was a wall but was actually the door of a massive elevator. The well-disguised door rose without making a sound. People wearing crisp white shirts and aprons emerged pushing stainless steel carts gingerly through the shifting maze of chatty people.
The space between people in the hallway outside the roped-off gallery became smaller with the passage of time as an expected crowd of 1, gathered to pay tribute to one of the most significant artists working in the Great Basin over the last half century. Before the exhibit was opened Thursday evening, the artist himself had not seen the entire collection in one place. Amanda Horn is senior vice president of communications for the Nevada Museum of Art and said the museum prides itself on bringing together diverse Nevada voices and connecting them to the larger world.
The number and power of over Jack Malotte pieces in one place is a pleasant challenge for the senses and intellect. The gallery brims with energy. Minutes before taking a private tour of the gallery, Jack Malotte smiled widely when he said he was tired from painting a mural on an external wall at the museum over the past five days.
His daughter Cora was nearby and busy helping greet old friends and family. Huge feathers float around mountain tops having fallen from an eagle soaring above. Growing up in Lee, Nevada near the Ruby Mountains, the places of Nevada have had a broad an indelible imprint on the artist. Here in Reno, I have. Microsoft, for its part, has expanded the notion of digital twins from objects to whole systems.
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The repair technician sees the virtual ghost shimmer over the real. She studies the virtual overlay to see the likely faulty parts highlighted on the actual parts. Eventually, everything will have a digital twin.
This is happening faster than you may think. The home goods retailer Wayfair displays many millions of products in its online home-furnishing catalog, but not all of the pictures are taken in a photo studio. Wayfair is now setting these digital objects loose in the wild. The app can then place a 3D object in a room and keep it anchored even as you move. With one eye on your phone, you can walk around virtual furniture, creating the illusion of a three-dimensional setting.
You can then place a virtual sofa in your den, try it out in different spots in the room, and swap fabric patterns. What you see is very close to what you get. Consumers will largely do this themselves: When someone gazes at a scene through a device, particularly wearable glasses, tiny embedded cameras looking out will map what they see.
For example, the startup 6D. If I use one of these apps to take a picture of a street, it recognizes each car as a separate car-object, each streetlight as a tall object different from the nearby tree-objects, and the storefronts as planar things behind the cars—dividing the world into a meaningful order. And that order will be continuous and connected.
In the mirrorworld, objects will exist in relation to other things. Digital windows will exist in the context of a digital wall. Rather than connections generated by chips and bandwidth, the connections will be contextual, generated by AIs. Another app on my phone, Google Lens, can also see discrete objects. It is already smart enough to identify the breed of a dog, the design of a shirt, or the species of a plant. Soon these functions will integrate. Then it will say, based on the colors and styles of the furniture you already have in the room, we recommend this color and style of sofa.
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May we suggest this cool lamp as well? Augmented reality is the technology underpinning the mirrorworld; it is the awkward newborn that will grow into a giant. You are still present, but on a different plane of reality. Think Frodo when he puts on the One Ring. The full blossoming of the mirrorworld is waiting for cheap, always-on wearable glasses. Speculation has been rising that one of the largest tech companies may be developing just such a product.
Even now, wearables like watches or smart clothes can detect the proto-mirrorworld and interact with it. Everything connected to the internet will be connected to the mirrorworld. And anything connected to the mirrorworld will see and be seen by everything else in this interconnected environment.
Watches will detect chairs; chairs will detect spreadsheets; glasses will detect watches, even under a sleeve; tablets will see the inside of a turbine; turbines will see workers around them. The rise of a massive mirrorworld will rely in part on a fundamental shift underway right now, away from phone-centric life and toward a technology that is two centuries old: the camera. To recreate a map that is as big as the globe—in 3D, no less—you need to photograph all places and things from every possible angle, all the time, which means you need to have a planet full of cameras that are always on.
We are making that distributed, all-seeing camera network by reducing cameras to pinpoint electric eyes that can be placed anywhere and everywhere. Like computer chips before them, cameras are becoming better, cheaper, and smaller every year. There may be two in your phone already and a couple more in your car.
There is one in my doorbell. Most of these newer artificial eyes will be right in front of our own eyes, on glasses or in contacts, so that wherever we humans look, that scene will be captured. The heavy atoms in cameras will continue to be replaced with bits of weightless software, shrinking them down to microscopic dots scanning the environment 24 hours a day. The laws of light will govern what is possible.
New technologies bestow new superpowers. We gained super speed with jet planes, super healing powers with antibiotics, super hearing with the radio. The mirrorworld promises super vision.
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Just as past generations gained textual literacy in school, learning how to master the written word, from alphabets to indexes, the next generation will master visual literacy. A properly educated person will be able to create a 3D image inside of a 3D landscape nearly as fast as one can type today. They will know how to search all videos ever made for the visual idea they have in their head, without needing words. The complexities of color and the rules of perspective will be commonly understood, like the rules of grammar.
It will be the Photonic Era. Indeed, this is already the perspective from which self-driving cars and robots see the world today, that of reality fused with a virtual shadow. When a robot is finally able to walk down a busy city street, the view it will have in its silicon eyes and mind will be the mirrorworld version of that street.
Of course, like all interactions in the mirrorworld, this virtual realm will be layered over the view of the physical world, so the robot will also see the real-time movements of people as they walk by. The same will be true of the AIs driving cars ; they too will be immersed in the mirrorworld. They will rely on the fully digitized version of roads and cars provided by the platform.
Much of the real-time digitization of moving things will be done by other cars as they drive around themselves, because all that a robot sees will be instantly projected into the mirrorworld for the benefit of other machines. When a robot looks, it will be both seeing for itself and providing a scan for other robots. Their eyes will be the embedded billion eyes of the matrix. They will be able not just to hear our voices but also, by watching our virtual avatars, to see our gestures and pick up on our microexpressions and moods.
Their spatial forms—faces, limbs—will also increase the nuances of their interactions with us. The mirrorworld will be the badly needed interface where we meet AIs, which otherwise are abstract spirits in the cloud. There is another way to look at objects in the mirrorworld. They can be dual use, performing different roles in different planes. We will be able to mess not only with the locations and roles of objects but with time as well. Harvard architecture thesis. Conclusions for research papers. Scholarship with short essay. Assignment for school. List of research paper topics in mathematics.
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