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Publisher's Summary

Ten years from today, the center of our digital lives will no longer be the smart phone, but device that looks like ordinary eyeglasses: except those glasses will have settings for virtual and augmented reality. What you really see and what is computer generated will be mixed so tightly together, that we won't really be able to tell what is real and what is illusion.

Instead of touching and sliding on a mobile phone, we will make things happen by moving our eyes or by brainwaves. When we talk with someone or play an online game, we will see that person in the same room with us. We will be able to touch and feel her or him through haptic technology.

We won't need to search online with words, because there will be a new Visual Web 100 times larger than the current Internet, and we will find things by images, buy things by brands, or just by looking at a logo on the jacket of a passerby. Language will be irrelevant, and a merchant in a developing world will have access to global markets.

Medical devices will cure schizophrenia, allow quadriplegics to walk. People will be able to touch and feel objects and other people who are not actually there for conversations, games and perhaps intimate experiences.

From kindergarten to on-the-job, learning will become experiential. Children will visit great battlefields and tour historic places in VR rather than read about them in text books. Med students and surgeons will learn and practice on virtual humans rather than cadavers; oil rig workers will understand how to handle emergencies, before the ever leave the home office.

The Fourth Transformation is based on two years of research and about 400 interviews with technologists and business decision makers. It explains the technology and product landscape on a level designed to be interesting and useful to business thinkers and general audiences. Mostly it talks about how VR and AR are already being used, or will be used in the next one-to-three years.

©2016 Robert Scoble and Shel Israel (P)2016 Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Glance into the future - Feed your inner futurist

What did you love best about The Fourth Transformation?

Puts the latest hype in context. Starts with where we have been, where we are now, and what is just over the horizon. Kept me entertained, even as someone who lives and breathes this stuff as my day job and personal passion.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Humanity. While all this tech is amazing, the focus of the book is on who we are and where we are going as a society - not just on the magical capabilities of technology.

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I never even realized I have heard Jeffery's voice before, but now that you asked... I'm pretty sure he has read many of the books I've read in the past. And he's always a pleasure to listen to.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's always tough to listen to a book about the future. Most of the time, by the time you pick up a book, the author's future has already become the present or is far into the past. This book walks that fine line between examining the trend and predicting the future players and use cases for the technology. At times, predictions in these books will fall flat. But the trend is the more important element, and remains a strong and pervasive theme throughout this book. This will extend it's shelf-life and value far into the future.

For now, this is an entertaining and informative read that rings true to my understanding of ou industry and gave me some practical insights into what is around the corner. Which is exactly what I wanted when I picked up the book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Shallow sales pitch

Whole book sounds like a sales pitch aimed at buttering up future investors and consumers of VR products. The narrator tries to sound exciting but completely fails because he sounds more like a malfunctioning cyber bot. No topics in VR are discussed at any deep length. I was hoping to hear deep insights on the potential for VR to reshape society or on the science of how this amazing technology works. But instead I was treated to a product pitch.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Mind blown!!

Some books are too technical and get bogged down but this moved along perfectly. Not too long but no need, this is current events and like the exponential growth of technology that changes over night, so would the information provided today and in this book. I VERY much look forward to the next update from these two brilliant minds!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Not too in-depth overview of VR, AR and MR

It's a nice overview of all the current technologies regarding VR, AR and MR. I liked the fact that the author stayed neutral for most of the subjects he covered. But I found the book to be lacking personal opinions and too much about iterating companies and technologies. If you are a tech enthusiastic, you won't be surprised by anything new.

There are some insights to be learned from the book though. For example: naming the major communication discoveries and technologies 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation was pretty interesting. And the chapter about how grim the world can be if we are all in mixed reality is pretty honest. Seems like my new read will be about IT security and hacking...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Book, But...

It seemed like the authors were overly commercial at times by placing emphasis on a few specific companies developing 4th Transformation technologies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great read to stay on top of VR and MR

A good summary of where artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are at today, and what mixed reality (MR) will mean for the future - its societal impact and its impact on health care and education. Scoble and Israel see a future in which these technologies will completely transform society and change the way we interact with digital technology.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Lousy Cover - Great Book

I literally avoided this book for months because the cover looked stupid. Well, it turns out I was stupid. This book is perfect for tech enthusiasts looking to get a glimpse into a crystal ball revealing the next 10-15 years in the machine-human interface. If you are a tech leader and you are not considering the topic of machine-human interface, you are going the way of the dodo.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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good read<br />

it was entertaining but weak on details and rather short. for a person with no background knowledge, it's fine.

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Good (and long) Introduction (bad cover)

The book's queer cover does not do the book justice (I chalked it up to a bad marketing decision) - the book was far more sober that what the cover insinuates. The author's projections into the near future were well imagined and intriguing.

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Thought provoking and inspiring

I know there has been a lot of hype about technologies that never took off. 3D televisions and virtual reality headsets are just two recent examples. However, in this book the authors convincingly explain why Augmented Reality (AR) is different and how it is likely to evolve much faster than most people think possible.

I have quoted from and recommended this book in several tech blogs I participate in. The authors give concrete examples of the practical applications of AR beyond gaming and surfing the Internet. The transformation from our current &quot;heads down, hands full&quot; cell phone world to a &quot;heads up, hands free&quot; world of stylish AR headsets will impact everything from how we work to how we communicate to how shop.

Like it or not, ready or not, the fourth transformation is on its way!

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  • Mrs Gemma Openshaw
  • 06-25-17

Amazing insight

This describes what the future may look like in an easy to understand and very articulate way. It's that good I'm going to listen to it all over again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Famiii
  • 03-14-17

Great overview on the current state of VR, AR and

Great overview on the current state of VR, AR and MR. more words required to send

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Boyd
  • 05-09-18

useful for research

This was useful to me as I am researching this area. I did not enjoy it, but it was informative.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-30-18

Good audiobook, didn't enjoy the narrating...

This was a good audiobook, but I didn't really enjoy the narrating. The voice is clear, but it sounds like the voice in an action movie trailer rather than someone reading a technology book. It got a bit grating after a while. Another person might find his voice just fine though.

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  • Dainjah
  • 08-02-17

Informative of a not so distant future.

I enjoyed it. easy to follow and imagine. something for all those wanting to be ahead of the wave. or at least on it.

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  • Somdeep Sengupta
  • 02-27-17

For marketeers

Heavily customer centric. atleast a basic explanation of the technologies involved would make it better. Good for marketeers.. for technologists its ok.. depending on your taste.

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  • Amnon
  • 12-22-16

Tech for the non technical

Very up to date and colourful review of AR / MR and VR technologies including interesting insights to future applications. Very interesting and well written including examples from as recent as a few weeks ago (rare thing in tech books). Still seems a bit optimistic in nature when providing the classic 5-10 years predictions (these type of predictions are notoriously known for inaccuracy).
Also a bit more technical details wouldn't hurt.

But I'd definitely recommended this book though for anyone with any interest in this space, especially those with no technical background.

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  • Kimberly
  • 12-12-16

If you don't listen you're going to miss out

If you could sum up The Fourth Transformation in three words, what would they be?

Inspirational Exciting Informative

What did you like best about this story?

A peek into the future

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but he is clear and concise and easy to listen to.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Inspired me to take the journey into the fourth transformation journey

Any additional comments?

An excellent book, a must read for anyone who is interested where technology is going in the very near future. You will come away after reading this book with your life changed for the better, knowing you will have a head start on your friends, colleagues and competition.