Computer technology

Virtual reality is the use of computer technology to create a simulated environment. Unlike traditional user
interfaces, VR places the user inside an experience. Instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are
immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. By simulating as many senses as possible, such as vision,
hearing, touch, even smell, the computer is transformed into a gatekeeper to this artificial world. The only limits
to near-real VR experiences are the availability of content and cheap computing power. Here are a few of the
leaders in virtual reality:
Soccer training with a virtual reality match.
Find your own virtual personal trainer at a simulated gym.
s.html)Immerse yourself in the Minecraft metaverse.
Six Flags is turning to virtual reality to enhance its rollercoaster experience.
The U.S. military uses virtual reality therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
Virtual reality can train surgeons for complex operations.
Students can attend a virtual field trip.
Prospective students can take virtual campus tours.
Simulate public speaking—a common phobia for many.
Amnesty International uses virtual reality to help people appreciate the ravages of the Syrian conflict.
In a group, create a new product or service using virtual reality.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of virtual reality?
What potential social problems do you foresee with virtual reality?
Grocery stores all over the United States use coupons as a way to compete for customers and keep customer
loyalty high. Safeway produces coupons on demand based on the products currently in the customer’s cart.
Kroger analyzes customer loyalty data gathered over several years. Knowing most customers throw junk mail
in the garbage, Kroger uses analytics to mine the customer loyalty pro- gram data to ensure the coupons are
specific for each family, offering only items they have bought in the past. Kroger mails over 15 million coupons
per quarter.
Safeway and Kroger are gathering data at different points in the supply chain. Safeway does not gather
customer data and only analyzes what is currently in the customer’s cart, giving coupons in real time to all daily
customers. Kroger gathers customer data over several years and mails coupons based on historical data to
loyalty customer cardholders only.

  1. What are the pros and cons of using these two different strategies to produce coupons?
  2. Given the choice, which method would you use and why?
  3. Explain how coupons impact the extended supply chain for a grocery store.
    What does a classroom look like in 2030? Can you imagine a beautiful steel robot flying around your classroom
    helping to answer questions and ensure you understand the material? A telepresence robot is a remotecontrolled, wheeled device with a display to enable video chat and videoconferenc- ing. Although telepresence
    robots aren’t inexpensive, they are typically much more affordable than the travel costs or fees they might
    replace. They also enable much more interactivity than regular video chat. In a distance education class, for
    example, a telepresence robot can move around the room and interact face-to-face with individual students,
    just as an on-premises instructor might. Here are a few examples of telepresence robots:
    ■ The doctor can see you now—virtually! iRobots are being used in hospitals where they make it possible for
    doctors to consult with patients, guide staff, and confer with other medical practitio- ners remotely. The robot
    travels around the hospital wearing a doctor coat, and on its face is a screen on which the doctor can be seen
    and see the patients and staff.
    ■ Tired of Skype and long, boring conference calls? No more stagnant monitor in the meeting room. iRobots
    are being designed for a business environment to enhance telecommuting or teleconfer- encing. iRobots can
    sit at the table, write on the whiteboard, and engage in the conversation as if the person were actually at the
    ■ Afraid your teenager is going to have a party while you are out for the evening or that Grandpa is eating all
    the sugary food that is bad for his diabetes? iRobots for in-home uses, such as mobile video chat, oversight of
    children or elderly people, and remote security monitoring are already hitting the market.
  4. Telepresence robots can act as remote tour guides, administrative assistants, home visitors, night
    watchmen, and factory inspectors, among many other possibilities. In a group, discuss the pros and cons of
    telepresence robots. Can you think of any additional uses for a telepresence robot?

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