Ubiatar: the beginning

It was five o’clock in the morning in the Bay Area.

No sign of the usual queues of cars over the crowded highways leading to San Francisco, far in the distance.

I woke up with this idea stuck in my mind.
It was  not the first time i thought about advanced telepresence and the idea of human beings instead of robots, but that morning the image of the service was particularly vivid and compelling.

I opened up my eyes and simply cannot sleep anymore.

I was unable to stay into my hotel room, too. I had to walk.

The fresh air of the morning was sweeping leaves on the meadows and the streets were empty. I knew I was the only fool walking around without having to do that for work or any other reasonable excuse.

I was fantasizing about one ‘Usar’ from home directing me as an ‘Avatar’: what would he want to see? What could I understand of his directions? How my smartphone could be the only device needed?

I had a business meeting at 8 o’clock in the financial district in San Francisco and I was still walking around zooming on simple things like street signs, shop windows, large pickups and any other thing I could imagine an Usar from another country could be curious of.

I was remembering how amazing had been my first impact with the ‘America’ I only saw in the movies, the first time, many years ago, I came out of the JFK airport into the traffic of New York. The minute things I wanted to examine closely, the details I could not indulge on with TV shows where I had no control of the camera, the big signs on the buildings that remembered me of the ‘superman’ cartoons.

I was visualizing the Usar from home exploring things that would never go into any movie, details that no other person would like to examine, the little things that make you alive and breathing and curious when you are a tourist or a business man in another country.

As I was zooming on the menu items of a ‘In&Out burger’ restaurant, I was thinking about the same experience with the textures of the ancient stones of Rome that I knew so well, of the mysterious labels of alien-looking foods in the streets of Hong Kong, of the smoked fishes in the shops of Turku, in Finland.

The world seemed to open in front of me, while I was simulating in my mind the telepresence experience that this hi-tech video streaming technology could bring to mankind.

I was visualizing the experiences in places I knew, and was getting more and more excited about all the places I never visited. The world was open!

I always wanted to explore endless places and I always have been painfully conscious of the limitations in time and budget I will always have.

I went to my meeting, and kept simulating the Avatar and the Usar directions from home all day long while walking in the streets of San Francisco. Some days later I went to Las Vegas and the colourful and joyful chaos of the city just added more excitement to the experiences I was envisioning.

I kept developing the ubiatar service into my mind and a few months later I filed for a patent on the graphical interface that makes it possible. A few more months and I found partners into this endeavour that is running at an ever increasing pace, to give to the people this new option:

‘the power to be everywhere’

Fulvio Dominici

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