Advice on Augmented Reality Tonight I am going to consider augmented reality and offer some advice on how it could improve our lives. The basic idea of augmented reality is to superimpose graphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists in real time. Sounds pretty simple. Augmented reality is changing the way we view the world -- or at least the way we see the world. Picture yourself walking or driving down the street. With augmented-reality displays, which will eventually look much like a normal pair of glasses or contact lenses, informative graphics will appear in your field of view, and audio will coincide with whatever you see. These enhancements will be refreshed continually to reflect the movements of your head. There are smart phone apps where you can walk through particular forests (26 in UK) and animated Gruffalo characters appear in certain locations as you look around. Underlying most of these applications are a phone's GPS and compass; by knowing where you are, these applications can make sure to offer information relevant to you. Full-on image recognition on a vast scale is not yet available, but the technology giants are working on it. There are lots of challenges before it becomes part of our everyday life, GPS accuracy, image recognition on a global scale etc. and social consequences such as when you walk down the street, a person’s face is recognised and their digital data is available immediately to you .The privacy issues when image-recognition software coupled with AR will, allow us to point our phones at people, even strangers, and instantly see information from their Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, LinkedIn or other online profiles will be challenging and not far off. However as we step into the next decade of the 21st century, advances in augmented reality will provide the possibility of escape from actual reality by enabling us to create our own idealistic environment giving us some down time from the true reality of politics, terrorism and TV melodramas like ‘Call the Mid wife’. So my advice tonight is twofold. One, think carefully what you put on the web or allow Google and others to extract through small print in usage contracts. And two, get prepared for augmented reality and plan how you will use it to live in your own little bubble. For example you could be sitting by the pool in Mallorca with all the German tourists occupying the sun beds which they claimed at first light, and through your augmented reality sunglasses you can modify the scene to replace them with the cast of Baywatch.
Advice on Coping with Retirement Tonight I am going to share some thoughts on retirement from my personal experience, which may be helpful or not. Firstly let me define retirement. The sort of retirement where you finished work, took the gold watch home and entered a third age where you got up for breakfast, sent the dog to fetch your slippers and then bring the newspaper home to your armchair for a quick rant at the state of the modern world before a morning snooze followed by a leisurely lunch, has now been confined to history. I shall define retirement as when you make a career change for work which provides no remuneration. Firstly you have to cope with a severe change in status. Back home you go back to the bottom. Instead of getting paid for strategic thoughts and bold management change programmes with a PA to prepare agendas for meetings, keep the diary, tidy up notes for talks or presentations, chase up staff etc. you get a big demotion and a host of new duties. These may include hoovering the house. This can be stressful. Before you became apprentice vacuum cleaner, dust was never noticed. Afterwards any accumulation of bits on floors after the hoovering has been done cause distress for the learner hooverer. Other activities include child minding and shopping trolley assistant. The child minding can be fun but manoeuvring a trolley with a mind of its own and trying to keep up with the boss who zooms up and down aisles through spaces too small for a trolley, is tough. A real problem with this new world is upper management, namely the boss. Not only have you fallen a long way from your status before retirement, your new boss has received little training in modern management and motivation. They are unreceptive to providing a Myers Briggs profile to provide some insight of their style and characteristics, and resent 180 degree feedback assessments. So my retirement advice is this. Stay sane and take up new interests: curling, children’s panel, further education etc., to ensure you are not in the house too much of the time and annoying the boss. If any of you are approaching retirement then have a talk to the Rotary club council team, we have some great posts that will keep you going and keep you from full time house gopher duties.