With Google Glasses and other potential competing products coming into the limelight, the technological consciousness is going to slowly merge with the expectations set for us by science fiction books and futurist designs. To understand how one element of augmented reality—the ability to overlay UIs and instructions on vision—can affect our social interaction and our skills we need look no further than current video games and the concept of gamification.
Gamification is the process of giving “game-like” attributes to everyday goals, it’s used by websites to attract and retain visitors with numbers and fill-up-bars, it’s used by school teachers to gain compliance from students, and it’s even used by some corporations to help train and refresh the skills of workers. With a project like Google Glass it wouldn’t be too difficult to project game-like interfaces onto everyday tasks and train a person to do something they otherwise would need a hands-on instructor to do.
A recent epic video—SIGHT by Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo–on Vimeo brings to mind the varied ways augmented reality could totally reconstruct our lives using augmented reality, futuristic sensor technology, and gamification (plus, no end of creepy cyberpunk dystopia to close off the social commentary.)
Watch the video below and think about how this will shape the consumer experience.
Apps become reality; physicality is more than just what we see but what we know
Right now, we have the nascent designs in our grasp for people to download apps to smartphones that enable them with instant information retrieval, extremely accurate GPS, and even search systems that look at peer groups to help decide what might be good to eat. I’ve even looked into numerous advantageous technologies that could be combined into Google Glass to make a wearer’s life not just easier, but more interesting.
With an augmented reality system, hands-free manipulation of data would be only an eye-flick away as would a great deal of information otherwise locked away in a book, computer, or smart phone. Forget fingertips, being able to more quickly bring information into a heads-up-display or access it via the visual field could greatly speed up a person’s capability to respond to an adapting information scenario (dating is a good one; although a rather antisocial science fiction social commentary here.)
I imagine that people would use things like Google Glass to convey information about interesting subjects, foment conversations about the news and lifestyle based on opinion and Wikipedia and grease our ability to better understand one another—rather than just manipulate one another. The possibility of using emotion-recognition or other deep-sensor technology with Pick-Up-Artist tactics, of course, will likely become vogue enough to generate some wariness but we don’t need technology to ruin the dating scene for us we do that by ourselves well enough already.
SIGHT does an excellent job of introducing multiple app-driven technologies that suggest a framework for how augmented reality might surpass our current experience. Replace television sets, instruct on how to chop a cucumber, provide directions to restaurants, and even drive communication across great distances.
Technologies like Google Glass are still in their infant stages from this sort of future; but what we do with it is being decided right now.