New Media Technology

Hosted byGeorge Knapp

New Media Technology

About the show

OTOY Inc. is a cloud graphics company, pioneering technology that is redefining content creation and delivery for media and entertainment organizations. Founder and CEO Jules Urbach joined George Knapp to discuss his company's ground-breaking advances in virtual reality (VR) and described the newest advances that may lead to the next paradigm shift in electronic media. At age eighteen, he was already developing video compression technology that allowed electronic visual information to be transmitted more quickly and efficiently, and has continued his career path ever since.

Urbach believes that we are at the edge of a revolution in information technology that will change our lives on a basic level in the same way that the cell phone did almost 20 years ago. The change is in VR and how it is taking over the tech industry. He pointed out that there is already a race to prefect VR in ways that would eliminate cell phones and replace them with devices that would be worn "like a pair of Oakley’s" (sunglasses) which would allow the user to see a virtual phone in the field of vision or even videos or avatars of your friends seemingly floating in the air around you as you talked to them. The glasses would free the user from having a "frame" around the information that a screen imposes.

George asked about the possibilities for abuse of this new technology to spy on people or steal their identities. Urbach thinks that the risks of this are already known and that this new level of reality would not create any sort of intrusion that we could not handle, as we have with cyber threats so far. Another risk is that people might disappear into a simulated reality when they realize that it is preferable to real life. Urbach said that this is definitely a risk, but he believes most would become bored with a world where everything was perfect and predictable, and that this would drive them back to interaction with others and situations with uncertain outcomes. He compared the level of present-day VR to the first iPhone and concluded that 2016 is "the year of virtual reality."

The Importance of Satire

First hour guest, National Lampoon veteran Tony Hendra discussed the 35-year history of the comedy/satire group, and his new album, "Are There Any Triggers Here Tonight?" which recaptures the spirit of National Lampoon's glory years, and takes aim at the new culture of political correctness and trigger warnings. Amazingly, Hendra’s first job was as the opening act for legendary comedian and satirist Lenny Bruce. Hendra said that "satire’s first target should always be the people in power, or people with power over other people’s minds." George asked if he was nervous about a comedy jab he made at ISIS. Hendra replied that you "have to take on the rough with the smooth — the hard targets and the easy targets." Hendra declared that one of his main goals is "to save the world from the people who want to save the world."

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