The eyes have it – do we need super glasses?
There’s been a slew of recent announcements trumpeting augmented reality (AR) glasses. First Google released a video about Google Glasses, which will pop up alerts concerning the weather, location and diary appointments, and now Oakley has got in on the act, talking about AR glasses for athletes. Not to be left out, the Pentagon has apparently ordered dual focus contact lenses, which allow wearers to look at a heads up display as well as what is around them.
Amidst all the hype, it strikes me that quite a lot of the mooted benefits of these glasses could be accessed through the eyes we already have. Why flash up alerts to tell you it is raining, when you can see for yourself? And if you think getting stuck behind people staring at their smartphone apps is bad, imagine what it’ll be like if we all suddenly slow to a halt to read what’s projected on our smart glasses. It’ll only be a matter of months before someone creates a virus to hack the operating system and change what you ‘see’.
But the idea of smart glasses isn’t totally bad – here’s five tongue in cheek applications that I can see taking off:
1 Eyes in the back of your head
As a parent I’ve often warned my kids that I can see what they’re up to through the eyes in the back of my head. Installing a sys
tem of mirrors in smart glasses (or a camera on the back of my skull) could make this threat a reality.
2 Anti-beer goggles
Apparently, the reason that members of the opposite sex look more attractive when drunk is that alcohol makes faces look more symmetrical. So some sort of reality filter could save those embarrassing morning after moments for both sexes……….
3 Instant sporting replays
Amidst all the furore about goal line technology and poor refereeing decisions in football, what about equipping officials with glasses with instant video playback? They can then make quick decisions with the facts at their fingertips/eyeballs.
4 TV on the move
We’ve all been in situations like presentations, lectures and speeches where we’re a bit bored but it would be a bit rude to pull out a phone/book and start doing something different. With smart glasses you can just catch up on TV without anyone noticing – though probably best not to watch laugh out loud comedy at funerals.
5 Remembering names
Ever met someone for the second time and can’t remember who they are or how you know them? Or get the names of your children mixed up? All it takes is your smart glasses to use facial recognition technology to pop up a handy reminder and you can chat away happily with confidence.
Given the weight of hype it looks like smart glasses are on their way – what would you use yours for?
- Move aside, Google: Oakley has been testing augmented reality glasses for 15 years (digitaltrends.com)