Wednesday, 7 August 2013

We're so cyberpunk

Last night I tweeted a link to a piece by Gary Shteyngart about his experience with Google Glass.
It's a good read - unlike a lot of the hype-y reportage on Glass this is a comparatively straightforward bit of writing by an author describing his experience with Google Glass.
And it shows a picture of a very cyberpunk experience of augmented reality - definitely 'baby - we're so science fiction', where you can get additional data when asked for, share experiences and share what you're seeing, say at an exhibition or an event, or just hanging out with friends.
Individually the experiences are not significant, we've all stuck laptops out of windows to show loved ones where we are when calling home with skype (somehow it's more fun to show the traffic outside rather than the fact you're far away in a beige hotel room) taken pictures from a moving vehicle with a phone just to share the happenstance of an exotic street scene - call it an anti-selfie - and looked stuff up on wikipedia on you phone in a museum (and sneaked the odd shot of an exhibit).
The thing about Glass is that does something that seems different by putting all the bits together in a package conceptually derived from military in-vision displays, plus the availability of decent voice recognition and reasonably pervasive networking. Individually the bits don't constitute a step change - together they seem to do something.
The Glass idea is not that new - the science fiction story of people sharing what they see or using it to make tv reports is common enough (shades of the reporter who uses it to get footage of the riots in Istanbul)- the thing is that it is here and it works.
Things will change as a result of it. Quite how I have no idea but they will.
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