The Future Is Here… Don’t Be Afraid!

Zuckerberg VR
Mark Zuckerberg at Samsung’s Mobile World Congress event – Facebook

When Mark Zuckerberg walked towards the stage at Samsung’s Mobile World Congress event in early 2016, one of the most discussed technology innovations became very real: Virtual Reality. Over the past years virtual reality seemed to be around the corner as the next big thing in media consumption. Suddenly, it arrived.

No matter if it is augmented reality, implemented by Google Glass or Microsoft Hololens, or full fledged virtual reality, implemented by Facebook’s Oculus Rift, it seems clear that many major corporations are investing heavily in what they consider to be the future.

Apart from some very few media corporations such as The New York Times, who experimented with VR with a specific mobile application, most publishing companies have not yet committed to the VR trend. In fact many publishers still seem to struggle with the transition from print to digital media. Not only are they struggling to establish working business models for their websites, they also seem to be behind on the shift to mobile media as well.

With the ongoing acceleration of the technological revolution this is yet another reason to worry about the media and news industry in general. If these companies keep moving at an old economy pace, it is doubtful they can keep up with current developments. The next big thing might be around the corner even before they start to adapt to then already outdated technologies.

No matter if they are trying to protect their current business as long as possible or if they are just afraid of the future, there is no time to wait any longer. Since the exponential acceleration of the technological development is a fact, publishers should start facing the digital future without fear if they want to survive.

 DISCLAIMER: This post has been written for the seminar “Online and Mobile Media” during an international research exchange at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, within the “Next Media” master program at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (HAW Hamburg) in 2016. For more information or any questions please contact me at

I need the LCARS and a tricorder

As I mentioned LCARS (Library Computer Access/Retrieval System) for the iPad in my blog entry recently (Star Trek on the got… iCARS for iPad), it became obvious: I am into Star Trek. Reviving the passion from my childhood, I was looking for a LCARS theme for my gmail account. As it turns out, there is none. Disappointed by the certain lack of enthusiasm of google engineers and other willing google users to accommodate my desire, I almost lost my faith in nerds and geeks around the world… but I found something amazing instead.

There is this guy, Bracer Jack, who is willing to do anything that pays the bills. And this is what he did: He created a LCARS GuideLine, a LCARS Manifesto and of course he is working on a tricorder as well. Not only does he explain what a decent LCARS has to look like, he even takes it further, suggesting LCARS could be 3D. This actually seems reasonable to me. It’s just a holographic version of LCARS. I am sure Lt. Cmdr. Data would have liked that. Take a look for your self.


(Source: The LCARS Manifesto)

Also he used augmented reality technologies to show very promising results. You can try it out for yourself within his LCARS Guideline article or have a look below.

For the Average Joe Star Trek fanatic the LCARS Guideline surely is quite enough. The LCARS Manifesto really pushes the limits. As he points out for himself:

Please understand that the creation of this manifesto goes beyond trying to please your average Star Trek fan who is simply after something that looks pretty and cool with random scrolling numbers, […]

I couldn’t stress this enough, if you are a die hard “LCARS is pretty” fan that couldn’t care less about the intellectual deployment side, please stop reading now and move on, there is nothing here that will please you, this is not a good source if you just want to create a pretty LCARS web site or something just pretty for its own sake.

(Source: The LCARS Manifesto)

So, if you really want to know where the LCARS evolution should be going, take a look for yourself and find out if you’re are a real LCARS aficionado. If not, you might just like to have a tricorder of your own. Feel free to admire the development of Bracer Jack’s tricorder project.

In the end, I am not sure wether any of this pays any bills at all, but I highly appreciate Bracer Jacks’ efforts and his appreciation for Star Trek. Thank you Bracer Jack for brightening my day.