Blake typically known as an “old person sport,”


Blake Dillow

January 28th, 2018

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INFO I101

Onesti/Paul

My
Interests

                “Golf
is good for the soul. You get so mad at yourself you forget to hate your
enemies.” – Will Rogers. I have always been passionate about the game of golf;
it provides hours of entertainment in a quiet environment with close friends in
a heated competition. I played throughout high school and got more serious over
the past two years after working at a country club and becoming a member at a
local course. The objective of golf is to hit a little white ball with a metal
club into a circular hole in the ground that can be anywhere from 100-600 yards
away. The average number of strokes that it should take to get the ball in the
hole is the standard for each hole, so if I were to get the ball in the hole in
three swings when the average is four, I would be one stroke under. However,
most people are not good enough to be under “par” (the average number of
strokes allowed). The person with the lowest number of strokes at the end of 18
holes is declared the winner. Golf has a rich history after its origination
hundreds of years ago, and is played by millions at a professional and
recreational level around the world. Golf is typically known as an “old person
sport,” but is enjoyed by participants of all ages.

                Golf
was able to fill the void that was left in my life after the competition that I
experienced throughout high school sports was taken away after college began.
When we are all home, my friends and I are always going to the golf course and
playing from the middle of the morning until dark. We were all able to
translate our baseball swings into golf swings and slowly whittle our scores
lower and lower throughout the summer, and we all valued the level of
competition and new challenges that were provided to us through the game that
we all came to love. Finally, we were all able to bond over a new sport and go
through the progression of getting better together, which is something that we
all value.

                A
new technology that has come to the game of golf is the advent of the “Top
Golf” experience. Top Golf is a company that has recently begun to open high
tech driving ranges that allow golfers of all levels to feel good about their
score and bond. These driving ranges are typically three levels high with a
bar, restaurant, and multiple game rooms/lounges on every level (CIO). Top Golf
has transformed the simple act of going to the driving range into an
entertainment and social experience. First, you get your top golf ID, the
company’s way of recording data on what you purchase, what games you play, and
how well you do in those games. Then, you select a “bay” on one of the three
levels. You and your group begin to hit balls with RFID (Radio Frequency ID)
chips in them into the driving range itself (CIO). The driving range has large,
circular nets throughout the turf field with hundreds of RFID chips that create
a network of signals to detect where the ball that you just hit landed, and how
many points it is worth. There are several different game modes, but generally
the closer you are to the center of the circular target, the more points you
receive.  

                This
technology has had a net positive impact on golf as a sport through the
opportunities that it provides to less skilled players, the social experience
that it creates, and the increased competition for avid golfers. First, there
are nets that are as close as 25 yards. If you are up to 45 feet in the air on
the third level, hitting the ball into the closest target is as simple as
dribbling the ball off the platform. True golf can be an extremely frustrating
experience for less avid golfers that can double par, but this experience
allows people of all skill levels to be successful. Next, with bars and dance
floors on every level, this is more of a social experience than a trip to the
range. This allows people to go out on Friday night and golf instead of going
to the club. Finally, there are several game modes that allow more serious
golfers to have serious competition at the range. You are given a score for
every shot, with the total being summed at the end (CIO). This allows
competition between all players and makes the driving range experience more
fun. The main drawback of this technology is the contribution to a more
expensive game, the entire experience is a minimum of $30 per person, so it can
be difficult to go often. Another main con to the entire experience is the lack
of accessibility; there are only a handful of locations available throughout
the world, and the startup cost of at least $15 million could be a major
drawback to the opening of locations (CNBC). However, there have been dozens of
openings scheduled for the next two years throughout the Midwest, with the
closest location in Fishers, Indiana. 

                I
see this technology as changing to a more complicated system in the near future.
RFID has been around for decades, and can surely be outdone by other network
systems, such as WIFI, that are more reliable and able to be updated as
technology continues to advance. However, I expect the TopGolf experience to
remain the same and continue to be a social experience. Golf will become a more
social experience as the franchise continues to expand at a rate of over 20 new
locations per year (CNBC). This new technology will allow the TopGolf model to
continue to grow and capture more millennials that are coming to the mature
entertainment market. Essentially, this high-tech form of a driving range will
allow people to combine the social aspect of going out for the night with the
desire for experience and competition that millennials have.

                The
driving range experience will continue to be changed by the TopGolf model. The
experience is morphing from an elitist, exclusive experience to a fun,
high-tech, and social experience that can be enjoyed by people of all skill
levels. TopGolf has taken the golf world by storm and shows no signs of slowing
down.

 

 

 

 

 

                “U.S.S
Callister” S.4 E.1 Black Mirror

                The
UK hit tv show “Black Mirror” recently made the jump to be streamed on Netflix,
and it has been an incredible success since its release late in 2017. The show
is centered around a dystopian alternative view of the future of technology.
Every episode features an alternate future in which a new technology is
released and drastically changes the way that people live their lives, whether
it be a society based on social rankings, a technology that teleports and traps
people in a video game, or technology that changes the way people engage in war.
A new negative consequence of technology is explored in every episode, and the
overarching theme of the show is that people trust technology far too much and
need to take a step back to realize the way that it can fundamentally change
human interaction and ways of living for every human as it continues to
develop.

                This
episode, “USS Callister”, features a disgruntled programmer (Robert) who co-founded
a tech company that controls an extremely popular online multiplayer game.
Robert becomes frustrated that he does not receive enough attention or recognition
for his work as all the fame goes to his partner who is the business expert.
Robert takes this frustration with his co-workers and employment and develops a
technology that allows him to steal DNA from a person in the office, clone
them, and trap that alternate version of them in a video game that he created.
He uses the technology from his workplace to enter the offline game and play
missions by himself, with the help of his fellow co-workers. The video game
traps his co-workers on U.S.S Callister, hence the title. The most recent
person to get trapped in the game was Nanette, the intern who was one of the few
to give Robert attention in the office.

                The
technology from the show that I will discuss is the extremely developed virtual
reality that allows full interaction with the video game environment using just
the mind. We will ignore the aspects of cloning people and trapping them in a
digital copy. Advanced virtual reality is currently not available but could be available
in the very near future as there have been several developments in the field
recently. There have been many moves to improve the mobility, functionality,
and resolution quality of AR/VR headsets and platforms in the last two years.
DAQRI, an augmented reality focused tech start-up company, has recently
developed an augmented reality helmet for use in industrial settings (Research
and Development). This will essentially act as a heads-up display for people working
in factories or other occupations where directions could be handy if displayed
on a screen in front of your eyes. Next, Lytro has made several advancements on
their Lightfield cameras, an essential component of advanced VR that will allow
the user to focus on different objects and view things on multi-dimensional
planes in real time as the photos taken by the micro-camera are refocused and adjusted
(Research and Development). Finally, these devices are getting smaller and
smaller, and could ditch the cord in the next few years. The focus on getting
rid of the tether currently necessary for VR is being spearheaded by companies
such as Amimon that are focusing on developing more advanced chips that can
process dynamic images and video through a 5Ghz band (Road to VR). 5G is
expected to come to market in 2018. Overall, people are somewhat far from full
development of wireless, non-movement VR that is displayed in the episode, but
strides have been long and powerful as we near this milestone.

                This
technology will allow people to live out separate lives and distance themselves
from reality. On the positive side, it could give people who are battling
depression, anxiety, or are bed ridden a chance to live another life that could
fix their current situation in reality. It could be a security blanket of sorts
for people battling life, and it would allow them to face the real world with
the confidence that they lack. However, this technology could create a much more
secluded, anti-social world in which real, conscious people are trapped within
the game. In the episode, the creator of the game traps the clones of people on
his ship, and they are forced to wait around until he wants to play the game
again. They are then bossed around and abused, creating a hostile environment
that promotes violence and disrespect. Next, this technology could allow people
to hide from reality and not interact with other live humans, which could
fundamentally change human interaction and development in the future.

                There
is a dichotomy of effects on the characters in the show. First, Robert, the
main character, sees his life drastically improve as he is able to translate
his frustration and lack of control in the office to complete control in the video
game. He goes from a submissive role in reality to a dominating and extremely controlling
role in the video game. This is a representation of what could happen to people
in reality as people could become more and more dominant in virtual reality and
bring that back to reality. However, the rest of the people in the game were
forced to act as slaves for the enjoyment of Robert, and their lives became an absolute
hell. This could translate to reality as people develop technology to clone
others from simple DNA sources and trap real humans for entertainment.

                I
believe that this technology is ethical, but needs to be policed. This
technology could change the gaming experience for millions of children and adults
that need a short break from reality. The negative consequences of the gaming
system will in no way outweigh the positive impacts that it could have on
millions of lives. It could, however, be used in ways that are deemed unethical.
There could be abuse and manipulation of cloned people, and could lead to
increased violence if people derive too much power from the game and translate
it to the real world.

                I
believe that this technology will not be fully developed in 5-10 years, and it
will not have a material impact on reality. However, over the longer period of
20-30 years, I believe that the technology will develop enough to allow users
to escape the real world in a meaningful and complete way, untethered in all
aspects.

                Virtual
reality has been one of the hottest tech items in the past few years, and it
will continue to develop as people give the trend more attention. This technology
could change the way that humans interact with each other and their environments
in the near future.                                             

                                                                                                                                                   

Works
Cited (MLA)

“Advancements in
Virtual Reality Device Development.” Research & Development, 31
Aug. 2017,
www.rdmag.com/article/2017/08/advancements-virtual-reality-device-development.

Brousell, Lauren.
“Inside look at Topgolf’s high tech driving ranges.” CIO, CIO, 21
Aug. 2015, www.cio.com/article/2974192/consumer-technology/inside-look-at-topgolfs-high-tech-driving-ranges.html.

Gurdus, Elizabeth.
“Topgolf CEO sees ‘real growth’ in golf, says he’s ‘winning’ with
millennials.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 Dec. 2017,
www.cnbc.com/2017/12/11/topgolf-ceo-seeing-real-growth-in-golf-winning-with-millennials.html.

Lang, Ben. “7
Companies Aiming to Cut the Cord on High-End VR Headsets.” Road to VR,
2 Jan. 2018,
www.roadtovr.com/5-wireless-vr-companies-htc-vive-oculus-rift-technology-overview/.

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