The Future of Communication Technology

Posted by Patrick Sheldon Wee on December 18, 2016

Imagine a world where everything feels real. This isn’t a world where people go through the routine of Skype or Facetime. This is a world where people can literally communicate with each other through all five senses--seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling. Presenting the newest in communication technology, FiveSenseo!

FiveSenseo is a fully-immersive virtual-reality enabled interactive communication experience that involves all the five senses of the human body. Users can easily subscribe online with a yearly subscription fee, and using it simply involves putting it on, like a pair of goggles. Once other users are on FiveSenseo too, the communication (and magic) begins. It’s that simple.

Imagine Tom, a college student in New York who wants to chat with his mom who lives in Los Angeles. All Tom has to do is to wear the FiveSenseo goggles, ensure that his mom also has her FiveSenseo goggles on, and that both of them have selected the Chattr fivo in FiveSenseo. Within the Chattr fivo, he can not only see and hear his mom, but he can also smell the food that his mom is cooking and taste it using a mouthpiece that comes with FiveSenseo. If his mom gives him a hug, electrical pulses are then sent through the goggles that then translate to muscle contractions that make Tom, “feel” his mom’s warm hug. And ta-dah! Quality family time unlocked. FiveSenseo has them fully covered!

With so much the FiveSenseo can do to make communication more fun, interactive and exciting, it seems very likely that the next great leap in communication technology will probably be caused by a push to experience the world in more than just the usual Skype call. In fact, widespread adoption of poly-sensorial technologies like FiveSenseo will probably occur within the next 10 years, given the extremely fast pace that technology has been moving, and the new forms of communication and artistic expression that have been emerging in the last few years. These developments will probably manifest themselves through a somewhat subtle yet palpable shift--a shift towards a more involved and more expressive communication experience. FiveSenseo could be the technology that sparks this shift. This is what makes FiveSenseo very exciting!

Given these beliefs that FiveSenseo could possibly fundamentally change the way people communicate, how exactly does FiveSenseo work in a technical sense?

Technologically, FiveSenseo’s most important piece would be the FiveSenseo goggles. These goggles would connect to the Internet, and would contain a very powerful single-board computer, like a Raspberry Pi, within it. This computer would be able to manage all the sensory information being collected, and also all the sensory information and stimuli being applied to the user. The FiveSenseo goggles would be running a special Operating System called Fiveo where apps called fivos can be subscribed to. These fivos would help collect, store and FiveSense “esenses,” experiences through sensory stimulations a user encounters while using FiveSenseo. Esenses could then be shared through various fivos, such as the Chattr fivo, or be saved for playback later on. Other fivos could include the Airbnb fivo that helps users FiveSense the Airbnb apartment users are considering staying in before users even book, or the New York Times fivo that allows users to FiveSense the White House Correspondents Dinner, where users would not only hear the President’s jokes, but would also taste the amazing food served. Various other fivos would provide a myriad of esenses in travel, education, and shopping, among others.

Various technologies would be used by FiveSenseo to deliver the most stunning and memorable esenses in the world, but chief of these technologies include five main underpinning technologies developed by FiveSenseo: the FiveSenseoSee, the FiveSenseoHear, the FiveSenseoSmell, the FiveSenseoTaste and the FiveSenseoFeel. First, the FiveSenseo would include the FiveSenseoSee, a cutting-edge virtual reality experience that would provide a virtual reality view of the world, where a user could see a 360 degree view of the esenses the user is in. On top of that, the FiveSenseo would also have the FiveSenseoHear, an innovative surround sound system that would use various technologies to make the sounds users hear seem like they’re coming from the same room as the user. In terms of the sense of smell, FiveSenseo would have the most advanced odor-replication technology called FiveSenseoSmell that sprays different scents that emulate real-world smelling experiences. Scents will be sold much like inks, where fundamental scents would be used, and then mixed to make more complex scents, much like primary colors are used to build secondary colors. FiveSenseoTaste would then allow users to taste through the FiveSenseo mouthpiece. This mouthpiece would replicate tastes of various food, right in the user’s mouth. In terms of touch, FiveSenseoFeel would send electrical pulses through the user’s FiveSenseo goggles to stimulate the user’s muscles so that the user is able to feel when somebody else touches the user.

To be able to perceive all these different esenses and send these esenses over to someone else, top-of-the line sensors would be used to capture images, sounds, smells, tastes and touches. With all these technologies, all five senses could now be used to FiveSense the world through sensory stimulations--a huge leap in terms of making the world a place that uses and makes much more sense.

With a clear picture of how this technology works and with this exciting technology seemingly around the corner, concerns have been raised as to whether this technology is sound or will even be adopted. Those concerns are fair, so here are a couple of reasons why this technology probably makes sense, and why it would probably also be adopted.

In Kevin Kelly’s book, The Inevitable, Kelly talks about 12 technological forces that will shape the world’s future, and a lot of the ones he actually mentions is directly tied to FiveSenseo. This holds promise for FiveSenseo’s adoption in the market. For example, becoming, or moving away from fixed products to just upgrades, fits perfectly with the FiveSenseo subscription model, as users in FiveSenseo will receive updates and upgrades of both software and hardware of the FiveSenseo system. FiveSenseo also follows the trend of cognifying because FiveSenseo would be using Artificial Intelligence to help process the tons of information that FiveSenseo collects. FiveSenseo would also embody the flowing trend, because real-time interactions are going to be an integral part of the esenses and fivos within FiveSenseo. This real-time experience of various worlds, contexts, and locales is especially true moving forward when even more people FiveSense through FiveSenseo, using the wide range of fivos available. Hence, these examples show how FiveSenseo is very much in line with technological forces shaping tomorrow, and how, this hopefully makes FiveSenseo a viable candidate to be adopted by people around the world, and a probable technology that shapes the communication technology of tomorrow.

Another reason for why FiveSenseo would probably be adopted is because FiveSenseo tries to promote greater intercultural communication through prioritizing the understanding of the various diverse backgrounds and contexts its users come from. This is a feature important in today’s globalized world, and would be even more important moving forward. Ethan Zuckerman in his book Digital Cosmopolitans (Rewire) stresses this idea, where he notes how the world is not really getting more cosmopolitan and how people remain locked within their own circles. In particular, Kelly’s fear is that people, now more than ever, think that cosmopolitanism has won, when really, what is happening is the building of cultural, racial, and faith-based silos that are just much harder to detect. In 2016, more than ever, it seems hard to disagree with Kelly as the move towards seclusion seems to be the going trend. However, this phenomenon is probably not going to be true down the road, as people will eventually be forced to confront the diversity of opinions, sexualities, faiths, beliefs and choices, especially as time goes on. FiveSenseo hopes to be the technology that helps tear down the walls of intolerance. In particular, FiveSenseo would make it harder for people to just comment on a Facebook post. Commenting will be made more accessible in FiveSenseo if the potential commenter has understood and FiveSensed the context the person on the Facebook post is coming from, and the context that person lives in. This hopefully, allows people to leave their own comfort zone, and see that the world is not a mere black and white dichotomy, but a full spectrum of opinions, stories and beliefs. The hope is that the FiveSenseo way of community, interaction, and communication then eventually builds a more inclusive and understanding online community, one that FiveSenses, sees the world through various lenses, and hence ultimately create more intercultural communication. FiveSenseo then stands as a possible solution to channel these intercultural interactions. This places FiveSenseo at a very good position of being adopted by the wider community.

With all the promise FiveSenseo brings, the impact of FiveSenseo on a local, national and global level is hopefully going to be sizable. The hope is that this communication technology will really change the way people communicate, in a way that allows people to more easily rewire and change their long-held beliefs through real FiveSensed interactions coupled with thoughtful discernment.

FiveSenseo could be the communication technology of tomorrow with its ease of use, its technological possibility and intercultural promise. FiveSenseo is ready for the future of communication technology. Are you?


Gleick, James. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. New York: Pantheon, 2011. Print.
Kelly, Kevin. The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future. New York: Viking, 2016. Print.
Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.
Shirky, Clay. Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators. New York: Penguin, 2011. Print.
Zuckerman, Ethan. Digital Cosmopolitans: Why We Think the Internet Connects Us, Why It Doesn't, and How to Rewire It. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. Print.