Thursday, April 05, 2012

A Better Point of View?

There was a time not so long ago when a telephone was a hulking, 57-pound bakelite monster that sat on a table in your house and kept you close to the phone, your range of wandering dictated by the length of the uncurled spiral cord that connected the receiver (about the weight of a major league baseball bat) to the base and the straight cord that connected the base to the wall socket. Today, of course, if you have a telephone with a cord on it, people think you're a luddite ... at least, until the power goes out.

That same old-style telephone was very useful for simple tasks, like making phone calls and beating the hell out of home intruders. Nowadays, of course, your telephone weighs virtually nothing, shows (and records) movies, serves as a map and compass, plays games, sends and receives e-mail, takes pictures and ... occasionally ... makes phone calls.

Time and technology march on.

Which brings me to this interesting video report: Google Unveils Augmented Reality Glasses. Once you get past the Mandatory Annoying 30-Second Commercial, the story tells you that Google has displayed its prototype next-generation eyeglasses which combine the functionality of traditional glasses with the capabilities of a smartphone. The effort to develop the glasses is called ... wait for it ... Project Glass.

Very original, eh?

The glasses can wirelessly receive information and project it onto the lenses, providing you with mapping information, targeted ads, weather, text messages, and all sorts of other useful data. Or just plain data. Or even spam. This is what the new glasses look like (geek model not included):

Think of it! Now you don't have to look at the world through ordinary rose-colored glasses ... you can use your glasses to shape the world around you. Which leads to some interesting possibilities ...

How about an app for your glasses that analyzes political speeches and campaign ads while you watch them and projects flashing bullshit alerts each time it hears an outrageous lie or distortion? Or an app that monitors your calendar and flashes a warning when you're about to commit some egregious social faux pas, such as forgetting your spouse's birthday or your anniversary? Or an app for religious conservatives that automatically projects additional clothing on ladies deemed to be dressed with an insufficient degree of modesty?

The possibilities are endless.

I don't know when these new augmented-reality glasses will show up at my local Lenscrafters, but I hope it's soon ... I need new glasses, and it surely would be fun to be the first person in my neighborhood to enjoy augmented reality. After all, real reality has so little to recommend it nowadays.

In the meantime, I'll just go ahead and view the world through my existing morose-colored glasses. It's only appropriate during an election year.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



John said...

Can I program an avatar so that whenever a lady with smart glasses looks at me she sees the 30yr old version of me?

Duckbutt said...

Would it be too much to hope that smart glasses are well-engineered to last instead of what so many products nowadays seem to do.

Leslie David said...

I saw a presentation on this from Apple--some of the things it does are pretty amazing--some more annoying.

eViL pOp TaRt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eViL pOp TaRt said...

That Conservative app could take care of that "see no evil" thing.

But what about an app for lewd people? Would they come up with one that unclothes individuals viewed? Not recommended for viewing your P.E. coach.

Mike said...

Bakelite. Ahhh the good ol' days.

allenwoodhaven said...

Once, many years ago before cell phones were common, my brother came to visit. He asked to use my phone to call work for messages but had to ask "What's this?!" because my phone was a rotary dial instead of push buttons. He was shocked but I said "Hey, it still works!" He couldn't call into work but in my opinion he didn't miss anything.

There are benefits to not always being in touch. That's one of the things that is wrong with the world today. Call me a luddite if you want but we survived in the past and could again (and will when the power grid goes out).

Duckbutt said...

ept -- Superman had that app years ago.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

There's such a thing as being too connected. This is an example of that.

I want to be a hermit.