The Limits of Possible

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It’s hard to imagine the speed of innovation that marked the 20th century could be replicated. It saw the invention of the radio, the airplane, television, space travel, computers and the internet. All undoubtedly inconceivable until they were realities.

But less than 15 years into the 21st century, we already have wonders like the iPod (iPhone, iPad, etc.), Nintendo Wii, the Tesla Roadster, the resurrection of dead musicians performing as 3D projections and, of course, Google Glass.

All that is to say, that the speed of innovation seems to actually be ramping up exponentially.

Innovation is a theme often visited by Vision Monday in places like our annual Global Leadership Summit (more on Page 30), monthly Eye2 newsletter and Vision Monday’s Eye2 Zone at Vision Expo East (Page 20).

But we’re obviously not the only ones interested in pushing boundaries in the optical industry. Luxottica will be unveiling their new ‘be VISIONary’ booth concept at VEE (Page 12), while Oakley just kicked off their ‘Disruptive by Design’ campaign highlighting their history of game-changing product design and teasing new advances to come at a highly experiential, multimedia launch event in Hollywood (Page 28).

Speaking of Hollywood, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, co-writer of the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey, said “The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”

Growing up the daughter of a “Trekkie,” it makes me wonder how quickly some other “impossible” cinematic contrivances, such as avatars, warp drive, force fields, sonic screwdrivers and, dare I say it, time machines, could be from daily reality?

How quickly will “Shotgun!” be replaced with “Beam me up!” And when will voice-activated wearable technology that projects real time information directly in front of your eyes be available?

Oh wait. That’s already possible.

dcarroll@jobson.com