Through the looking Glass
The future is here. Google recently released their latest ad for the next big thing, Google Glass, and the digital world is heading for yet another huge change in the next few years.
According to Isabell Olsson, an engineer on the Google Glass Project, the company created the glasses for people to interact with the virtual world without distracting them from the physical world. She said that they had had two broad goals in mind: communications through images and quick access to information.
The new smart glasses will operate on the Android operating system and have a camera, a microphone and a small screen top right that will give you Terminator-type vision – but in a friendlier way.
Streets ahead of today’s smart phones, tablets, and modern computing devices, these new smart glasses will apparently provide a vast amount of benefits for individuals, businesses, cities, healthcare, and the environment. They’ll change the behaviour and lives of early adoptors and the next generation.
The camera will enable you to capture fleeting moments and allow others to see the world through your eyes. You’ll have the ability to get directions as you go, see texts and video chat, identify products and shop online, augment reality to make playing video games more realistic and interact with billboards and places of interest through the glasses.
Even everyday actions will become easier, like watching a cooking demo as you cook or preventing embarrassing moments – as a helpful pop-up identifies and reminds you of someone’s name. Businesses will benefit too – sales will grow as people interact with as their company, product or service through the glasses.
The possibilities seem endless.
This is stirring up privacy panic in some quarters as some people believe that Google Glass will have more sinister consequences.
A website called Stop the Cyborgs has sprung up with its stated mission to “stop a future in which privacy is impossible and corporate control total.”
They ask whether you would ever have considered wearing a hidden spy camera or recording conversations a few years ago? Will everyone will be doing it soon and finding you odd for objecting?
They’re concerned that there’s no way to know if you are being recorded by someone wearing Google Glasses or a similar device. Very different to a smart phone where users visibly hold the camera up to take a photo or record a video.
They also raise issues about what will happen to your video and audio files. Will they be collected and processed in the cloud to display contextual information using image, object, face, voice identification and speech recognition? Will information about you just sit in a database or might it be delivered to the people you’re interacting with?
They believe there will be serious consequences for human society as the distinction between the ‘digital world’ and the ‘real world’ becomes blurred. People will make decisions and interact with other humans in the real world in a way which increasingly depends on information that Google Glass tells them.
See the full article: http://stopthecyborgs.org/about/
A vision of the future
Interestingly, Charlie Brooker’s satirical mini-series, “Black Mirror”, which ran on Channel 4 last year, taps into collective unease about our modern world and where it may be going. It’s about the path the media is taking us down. To quote Charlie Brooker “It’s about the world we live in now, and a warning of the world we will be living in 10 minutes from now”.
The name ‘Black Mirror’ comes from idea of a blank TV screen or computer monitor reflecting the world back to us.
In this dark drama, in the near future, everyone has access to a memory implant that records everything they do, see and hear – with disturbing consequences.
Check out Black Mirror – The Entire History of You Trailer here
Or view the whole episode here