CHIL and Dream

It is refreshing to stop thinking about existing technology, and imagine what can be with new tools. Last week, I had the opportunity to do that at the SciTech tradeshow hosted by one of American Institute of Aerospace and Aeronautics (AIAA).

It was cool to see how new space exploration can occur through collaboration, and where virtual reality is making amazing progress in the development community. I like to apply ideas from other sectors to my work and writing.

For example, I saw Lockheed Martin’s virtual reality development tool, CHIL (in use since 2011). Then I learned about how plane and spacecraft panels can be made lighter and more flexible, and how easily our space infrasturcutre could be hijacked by a cyberterrorist, and how to prevent pilot accidents through a new generation of sensors.

It all seeemed very exciting. I guess someone steeped in the science and technology communities, would these technologies to be natural evolutions. But to the business layman, they were fantastic.

CHIL seems like someone developed a valuable use for Second Life, allowing engineers to render their designs in 3D, and then enter them to see errors. The tech generates significant cost and time savings by reducing multiple iterations of production models.

The fledgling scifi novelist in me was thrilled, and I latched right onto the cyberwarfare and CHIL technologies. The space cyberwar scenarios are endless. Of course, the narrative in my head went towards sabotage and crimes in 3D. It’s the stuff of cyberpunk!

You could see modern applications in today’s media and marketing worlds, too. For example, imagine building out an entire customer experience — from ad to app to customer feedback to store visit — before deploying it. Or creating virtual apps to allow people to “test-drive” your product before purchasing it. Olympus recently did that with its micro 4/3 camera.


I was so invigorated that I decided to visit the Udvar-Hazy Center last weekend to surround myself with dreams and visions already realized. Soleil and Caitlin, too. Soleil walked out telling us that she wanted to be an astronaut (actually she wanted to fly the plane known to adults as the space shuttle, but hey, same thing, right?).

Dreams are important. They remind us that great possibility and innovation can happen. We just need to imagine it, and then take the steps necessary to fulfill the vision. Easier said than done, but dreams and hard work is how innovation happens.

Point being, applied to our world the same old work or yet another boring conversation about xxx is a limitation that we create for ourselves. Choosing to go beyond begins in the heart and the mind.

What do you think?

Win a Copy of Amazing Things Will Happen

Amazing Things Will Happen
Image by Aliza Sherman

My friend C.C. Chapman released his second book, Amazing Things Will Happen. Continuing a tradition of book give-aways here, the five best answers/comments in response to C.C.’s question will receive a complimentary copy of the book from me (and Amazon).

First, let me say, Amazing Things is a great read about how to make your dreams come true. I thought it was the blogger’s version of the Artist’s Way. Amazing Things is full of ideas and tips to spark, complete and enjoy that next success. It’s a fast and enjoyable read.

Perhaps most importantly, the book sparked me to re-engage in a personal project that I had left fallow for years. I realized the time would never be right unless I made it so. Fate doesn’t just happen, we have to do the leg work. C.C. reminded me that all of my successes were because I ventured forward.

If you don’t believe me, see what the Washington Post had to say about it.

C.C.’s question for you:

What would you love to see more businesses do to make the world better?
Continue reading “Win a Copy of Amazing Things Will Happen”