Google is releasing information on, and asking for user ideas on a possible future product – augmented-reality eyewear (see this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17618495 ).
I have little doubt this will come to pass in some form or another, and no doubt the glasses will eventually have both a microphone and speakers, making them a natural replacement for or extension of the hand-held telephone. Where the iPod and iPad are rapidly becoming the ubiquitous means by which people stay connected, and stay abreast of what’s happening in their lives, a technology like this will provide a means of accessing that information, and have that data intelligently provided to them based on a host of current behaviours and the user’s current location.
Read that article – this is likely coming sometime soon, and could possibly displace (or at least seriously supplement) things like iPhones and iPads… like how about a device like an iPhone you never have to look at – it’s just a store of data and auxiliary processing horsepower? Maybe even that won’t be necessary if miniaturization continues at its current pace.
I do think the term “Augmented Reality” is a bit self-important sounding, though, and I hope they come up with a new terminology for this before it dies just out of the rancour of those who rail at anything too radical, technically (like shaved under-arms, elastic waistbands in underwear, and Q-Tips, for example).
On the down side, our no-texting-no-cellphone-while-driving laws will doubtless need to be expanded or seriously reworked.
I could see a device like this being the newest seriously-distracting element on our highways, and I could further envision people falling onto subway tracks in droves as they pay attention to what they see in their new eyewear instead of paying attention to where they are.
It may be the final thing that proves that we’re no way near as good at multi-tasking as we believe ourselves to be.
Hopefully it will be smart enough to know it’s in a moving car and will gracefully and smartly shut off its display (at the very least).
Ah, well… our planet is seriously over-populated… maybe lemmings have something like this built in (they don’t)… perhaps they’re just plugged into an augmented reality when their populations are too dense and they head for the sea?