Hollywood shows jobs of the future: Spatial Computing camera systems

We all know lots of jobs will go away in the next decade or two. When I visited Tesla’s factory this year I noticed about 20% more robots than when I visited last year. Take that trend out a decade or two and we can predict many jobs will go away.

For my sons that might be dismal news. After all, they will be entering the job market in the 2030s. Will there be any jobs?

I’ve never been more optimistic that, yes, there will be. My visit this week to Radiant Images showed the new jobs that are being designed right now. This lab builds camera systems for Hollywood movies. I started up my 360-degree camera and interviewed cofounder Michael Mansouri inside one of his camera arrays that do both volumetric and light field captures. My cofounder, Irena, and I spent a day there with our company, Infinite Retina, working for a client (can’t name the client but lots of you drink their product).

His cameras operate at 500 frames a second, are 5K each, and synch up with specialized new strobe lights. All of which didn’t exist a few years ago.

I’m hearing that Apple will announce a new visor next year that will do augmented and virtual reality. If we get nerdy, we call that “mixed reality,” but when talking to Michael we talked about how people will expect entertainment to soon change and Hollywood is already starting to change to prepare. I rather call these things Spatial Computing Imaging Systems because the cameras themselves aren’t mixed reality, they just enable that. Spatial Computing is computing you, a robot, or a virtual being can move around in, and if you look at it that way you can see many new projects coming that need arrays of cameras and the associated artificial intelligence to deal with the datasets they generate.

If you walk around and meet his workers they are materials engineers, computer scientists, data scientists. All to make a movie, or whatever we call mixed reality entertainment projects.

So, we need to find a way to take truck drivers, factory workers, and others who will be laid off in the 2020s due to the forces of automation, and get them technical skills to work in Hollywood and other industries to build new robots, new automation systems, new ways to see the world.

That seems like a daunting problem, but I recently visited a new school, 42 Silicon Valley, which took a former chef with no technical skills, and now he’s started a VR company. This school charges no fees. Has no teachers. But requires students to give a year or two of their lives to fully immerse themselves in learning a new skill.

I wish policy makers would change from discussing guaranteed minimum income, which will never be enough and will doom humans to dismal mission-less lives, and focus on giving people the capital to go through schools like that virtually.

Real revolutions are coming to education, training, entertainment, and other things (at the end of the video we hinted how Tesla is gathering data to make fully autonomous cars possible).

Michael shows there’s plenty of “new jobs” but we need to both see that there are plenty of new jobs and then we need to have policies (and technologies) in place to help us retrain millions of workers for them.

In any case, new forms of entertainment are coming and Michael’s cameras are ready for the storytellers of the future to bring them to us. That, too, will require new devices. Apple, Magic Leap, Facebook, Microsoft, and many others are coming with those devices in the first half of the 2020s. What a decade ahead there is.