Archive for April 9th, 2012

No, it is not about the Google glass (project)!

Monday, April 9th, 2012 by Roberto Saracco

One of the thousands images on Google glass project...

Last week most newspapers, and the web, got flooded with the news of the Google glass project. There are also some nice clips on YouTube you have probably already seen. So there is no need to post such a “old” news.

What I am interested in discussing is whether this is the sort of future interfaces we are looking for. On the web there have been many posts, some arguing that moving from a “concept” to a real thing is a big step, some saying that such technology will never really work (except that it already does..), some pointing out that the guy in the clip has some social relation problems… And of course there are also enthusiastic posts saying here is the future.

Personally, I think that the future will, as in the past, place the technology in the background, where you don’t see it and where you take for granted (naturally) what it delivers.

I am pretty sure that we are moving towards a seamless continuum between atoms and bits but bits cannot intrude, as well as atoms should not intrude when I focus on bits. It may become possible in some science fiction future to have all newborns with an implanted chip to “augment” the retina, but I personally think it will remain science fiction and not because technology won’t become available. We already have all the technology needed for electronically tagging ourselves, but only a marginal few have done that. So it is not, and it will be not a matter of technology availability.

I would consider much likelier to use our cell phone (or our cuffs for that matter) to explore the boundaries between atoms and bits. I can buy that in a few year most of us will be “naturally” using their cell phone as a magnifier lens to look at the bottle in front of them to see the information associated to it or look at a window through the cell phone screen to get info and pick up that info about an object displayed in the window.

Having a continuous overlapping of bits and atoms through the sort of glasses that Google has shown doesn’t ring true to me.