Title: Chipping away at reality
May 12, 2024
This essay is to explore the intertwined challenges and opportunities presented by advancing CPU production techniques and the burgeoning field of extended reality (XR), emphasizing the need for technological innovation and strategic planning to navigate these evolving landscapes effectively.​​​​​​​
In the coming years, the United States, along with the rest of the world, will face significant technological challenges, particularly in the realm of CPU production—a vital component in our phones, computers, cars, and eventually, extended reality headsets. Despite the proactive measures set forth by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, these initiatives alone may not be sufficient to meet the growing demands. A critical factor in Taiwan's TSMC's market dominance is the rigorous training and intensive labor commitment from its workforce, including requirements for engineers to undergo up to 18 months of training in Taiwan, with twelve-hour workdays and frequent weekend shifts.
As America grapples with increasing polarization on various issues, simply having plans in place does not ensure the requisite means of production to create a change. This is exemplified by the confusion surrounding data laws and the time it took for politicians to understand the revenue generation models of big tech companies like Facebook, some of whom remain perplexed during congressional hearings.
Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Extended Reality (XR), and the next digital transformation known as Spatial Computing—possess the potential to revolutionize industries, particularly those involving strenuous and hazardous tasks. Spatial Computing is the concept that computers can learn the contextual implications of location and the relationships of objects to each through through point cloud. The concept of spatial computing has been around in scientific academia for over 50 years. The U.S. military’s adoption of VR for pilot training and advanced stealth missions underscores its effectiveness. Similarly, the U.S. Space Force and Navy have leveraged VR to enhance training outcomes and operational readiness without the risks associated with real-world training.
For example, extended reality technologies can significantly enhance worker training and operational intelligence by facilitating training sessions outside of hazardous environments, thereby increasing safety and efficiency. This approach not only reduces the need for physical presence in unsafe conditions but also offers more thorough learning opportunities. Furthermore, integrating robotics, drones, and machine learning allows technicians to remotely control robots via extended reality headsets, fostering collaborative environments with generals and other stakeholders.
It is vital to understand the hardware of each emerging headsets, but it is also concurrently important to know the softwares. Currently the major game engines for XR developments are Unity, Unreal Engine, and Xcode (for native Apple Vision Pro development). Each comes with their unique sets of pros and cons. However, foreign interests also has realized the immersive power of these game engines. Chinese technology and entertainment holding company Tencent held a 40% stake in the game maker, who knows if the stakes rises in the future. Unity has it’s own controversial issues, with its pricing model. Apple, and it’s walled garden causes developers to only abide by their rules, which in return one could argue does have a better privacy and data rights control compared to the rest. 
However, it is important to remember 3 vital game engines, holds the power of billions of dollars and users right, would it be a better investment to start also creating an alternative? Having the Privacy and surveillance of where the user’s interaction data and eye movement is going to another gold mine for next generation of tech companies. These technologies are growing in rapid scale allowing for more access by all parties. 
As these technologies become more accessible, they hold the potential to assist developing nations as well. As semiconductor technology continues to drive economic stability, it’s equally important to not overlook its impact on the global stage. This underscores my passion for leveraging extended reality technology to aid those in less economically developed regions.
Technological advancements are prompting countries to expand into previously rural areas, often displacing local populations. This shift can strip farmers and rural workers of their livelihoods, leaving them unprepared for new economic realities. A case in point occurred in the early 2000s in southern China, where rapid development forced farmers into urban areas. Without relevant skills, many resorted to low-wage jobs such as "gold farming" in online games, such as “World of Warcraft” earning in-game currency to sell for real money.
Extended Reality (XR) has been around since the 1960s, but only recently have the markets been flourishing and causing significantly impact to society. I believe XR holds the power of multifaceted use cases and hands-on XR training could offer an incredible solution, helping to equip displaced workers with the skills needed in new economies and possibly preventing more developed nations from exploiting less developed ones.
We are in the direction from what we carry to what we wear. The user interface will move from a screen you tap to computer-generated images that you actually touch and feel. In previous technological eras, it was about the interface between technology and people, now it becomes about the experience and that will change the way we work, and interact with each other. 
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