Imagine a world where home-based avatars help humans remotely multitask, transforming the world of work and travel. These devices would enable people to see, hear and touch and interact with physical environments and other people in distant locations. It might sound like a scene from James Cameron's well-known Avatar film, but the rapid rate of advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, VR and sensor technology will soon make this a viable commercial reality.
To fast-forward R&D and product development in this field, the XPrize Foundation is announcing a $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE on Monday at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. The four-year global competition is sponsored by Japan's All Nippon Airways, a company mapping future trends in the transportation industry.