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VMworld 2010 General Session, Day 4

The VMworld 2010 general session on Thursday, September 2, gets kicked off by pictures of the party last night and opening remarks by Rick Jackson around innovation and the definition of innovation. It was nice to see VMware “tip their hat” to IBM for the creation of virtualization.

The first guest speaker to come up and discuss innovation is Pranav Mistry, who spends some time discussing some of the various next-generation interfaces that he’s created and worked with—things like a virtual mouse, a pen that allows designers to draw on the screen, or a paper interface to computing devices. His ultimate goal is to integrate digital information into the real world. He wants to stop having different interactions with digital and physical and have only a single set of interactions. He shows off a few very interesting demonstrations of an experimental project that involves a device integrating a small projector, a camera, and devices that track hand movement to integrate digital information into the real world. It’s pretty interesting and shows off some exciting integrations that lie ahead.

The next guest is Natan Linder, an Intel fellow and member of the MIT Media Lab. He focuses his discussion around adding I/O to the real world and creating new interfaces. The key project is the LuminAR, which is a robotic lamp that provides a natural interface to the digital world. It’s a pretty interesting project that “breaks pixels free of the screen” and allows you to interact with the digital world wherever an whenever you need. The project is different from Pranav’s in that Natan’s project is focused around augmented reality; Pranav’s work focuses on removing the barriers between digital and physical.

The third and final speaker is Tan Lee, founder of Emotiv Systems, who focuses on a new remote control that uses brain waves to control digital devices. Emotiv is working on “brain computer interface technology”. After discussing what Emotiv has been working on, she invites Steve Herrod, CTO of VMware, who will help demonstrate the Emotiv technology in action. Tan walks Steve through some training actions, and then demonstrates how the system actually works. The demonstration is very impressive, and truly does look like some sort of science fiction technology. It’s quite amazing.

At the completion of Tan’s demonstration, all three speakers join Rick Jackson on the screen for a brief panel discussion.

After the panel discussion concludes, Rick Jackson finally answers the question: what do the Golden Tickets mean? Each Golden Ticket holder will receive their own Emotiv headset. Awesome!

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