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Innovation

Just Released: A New “Near Future” Film Takes a Look at How Innovation Will Affect the Way You Work

Aug 6, 2019

This week, CableLabs released the fourth installment in its Near Future series. Titled The Near Future: Diverse Thinkers Wanted, this short film explores the aspect of life that takes up most of our time and energy: work. Have you ever wondered what a typical day at the office might be like in a decade? Will a 9-to-5 workday still exist, or will the technology of tomorrow redefine the concept of work as we know it? Let’s take a closer look.

The Future Vision

The film’s narrative is centered on Nikki, an ambitious go-getter who’s about to deliver an important presentation. But as often happens in the world of business, things don’t go exactly as planned and Nikki is faced with a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Fortunately, she has all the tools she needs to not only solve every problem but to do so without ever slowing down. On-call mixed reality apps and helpful light field displays provide the information she needs. An autonomous taxi is always there to take her anywhere she wants to go. Layered videoconferencing solutions and holographic telepresence technology help her maintain continuous contact with her team. And an ever-present AI assistant takes care of everything else, from confirming appointment details to booking a holo-room, in seconds.

Thanks to all this advanced tech at her fingertips, Nikki has the opportunity to be her best, most creative and efficient self, and to make smart, calculated decisions without ever losing focus. Not everyone’s workday will resemble Nikki’s, but this kind of technological advancement is certain to have a profound effect on the way we approach our daily tasks, conduct meetings and solve problems in the near future, no matter what line of work we’re in.

Technologies That Will Help Us Get There

The technology shown in the film will shape the way we think about work in the future. Powered by a multi-gigabit super network of tomorrow, it will create a more efficient, productive and creative work environment that will help us perform at our best. For example, technology can be used to:

  • Manage our time better: Picture a world where you don’t waste half your morning resolving calendar conflicts or worrying about logistics. How much more would you be able to get done in a day? According to Accenture, technologies such as Nikki’s ear-piece AI assistant are projected to increase labor productivity by up to 40 percent, enabling you to make more efficient use of your time.
  • Access the information we need, whenever we need it: A lot of workplace slowdowns occur because of missing or inadequate information. How much more productive do you think you’d be if all the information you ever needed was readily available to you? In the film, Nikki’s eyeglasses have built-in mixed-reality tech that overlays street addresses and other data on top of everything she sees, allowing her to make critical decisions on the go.
  • Collaborate more efficiently, from anywhere: To accommodate a more talented and diverse workforce, businesses around the world are seeking advanced remote collaboration solutions that allow their teams to seamlessly interact as if they’re physically present at the same location. In the film, we explore a few ideas about how this might work, including layered videoconferencing technology that combines traditional video with mixed and virtual reality, public light field tables and holographic telepresence systems (holo-rooms), where Nikki’s entire team gathers to work on a common project.
  • Enhance our skills and abilities: According to the World Economic Forum, 65 percent of children now entering elementary school will hold jobs that currently don’t exist. This is partially due to technologies like alternative interfacing, which gave Nikki’s coworker the ability to manipulate virtual objects with the movement of his eyes. This type of new and exciting technology will drive the need for more interesting and fulfilling jobs—and redefine the nature of work as we know it. 
  • Focus on creative solutions: According to McKinsey, 50 percent of current work activities are automatable, and the demand for skills like creativity, critical thinking, decision making and complex information processing is projected to grow 19 percent in the United States by 2030. Outsourcing some of the boring and mundane tasks—such as double-checking locations, hailing a cab or booking a room—to machines will free up more of our brainpower for a whole new level of creativity and imagination.

Although we’re not yet in Nikki’s world, we’re well on our way. The 10G platform will set the foundation for many of these technologies, enabling app developers and entrepreneurs to innovate without worrying about the speed, capacity and latency restrictions they had to deal with in the past. Take a look for yourself! You can view the film in its entirety below.

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