I'm completely aging myself, but I loved the Jetsons. I remember watching Judy answer the "video" phone and thinking, 'how could that ever happen?' While we don't have a 'Rosie, the housekeeper', we do have Alexa, Siri, Roombas and Facetime. And now, we also have Virtual Reality.
In late March, I was given a glimpse of the future at my annual "Photo Camp", aka the Association of Personal Photo Organizers conference. According to Jim Malcolm, Humaneyes Technologies, a virtual reality device will become a mainstream 4th screen in your world within 5 years. The first 3 screens being our television, our computer and our smartphone. We're seeing the way we take photos shifting from 'capturing a moment in time' to 'communicating life over time' and virtual reality is poised to advance that trend even further, starting with 'social VR'.
I bet if you think about it, virtual reality has already entered your life in some way. For me, I had just experienced it a few days earlier with my daughter at the Mall of America's FlyOverAmerica flight simulation experience. And last week, a friend told me that a college that was recruiting her son sent him some virtual reality glasses.
So what does this mean for your photos? According to Jim Malcolm, 'the better we digitize our memories today, the more prepared we are for [the future with] virtual reality.' Translation...scan your favorite photos and digitize your memories today, so they can be used and shared in ways that not even George Jetson predicted. And we can't stop there.
Peter Krogh, author of The DAM book (Digital Asset Management), also spoke to our group about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the importance of it in helping our clients get prepared for the future. If you have ever had a website (e.g. Amazon, Netflix) give you recommendations on things 'you might like', you've experienced artificial intelligence. You may have already experienced it with your photos if you have ever used facial recognition in your photo management software. Without going into an eye-rolling explanation about metadata, let's just say that instead of "browsing" for your photos, there will be a day when you will expect to "search" for them. In order to do that, they will need to have keywords assigned to them, such as names, events and locations. Keywording is the equivalent of writing on the backs of your printed photos.
As a professional photo organizer, my goal is to help my clients preserve their photos for generations to tell their stories, which means continuing this learning and challenging you to get ready for the future. My role is to be a curator of your memories, so expect me to go all 'George Jetson' on you sometimes and encourage you to do more. Your memories matter, so let's get ready.