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.

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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?

SciFi Nerd Dream Come True

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Since this weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer, and I already know how my summer will end, let’s talk science fiction.

I registered for the 71st World Science Fiction Convention this coming Labor Day weekend. It will be a nerd dream come true on a few levels.

First, the prestigious Hugo Awards are given out at the event. I plan on reading the five nominees and submitting a ballot by July 31. It will be awesome to see the program, meet science fiction authors, and talk about the craft.

Then there is the costume contest. I went to the Emerald City ComicCon last year during a layover in Seattle. What a crazy event! The costumes were wild and fun, and, well, nerdy! The science fiction convention costumes may be even crazier!

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