In the near future: our smartphones will go to our heads…over our eyes to be precise.

At an augmented reality (AR) talk I attended a few years ago, Mike Liebhold of the Institute for the Future brought up how it will all play out. Somebody (he suggested Apple naturally) will begin selling the first AR killer app: goggles. In short order, perhaps in another 5 years, those goggles will spawn equally powerful contact lenses. From there, the AR world goes from awkward to seamless.

Just sit back before continuing with this post and consider all the wild directions such technology could take, weather it’s social, scientific, commercial, entertaining…and, gulp, perverted.

Okay, now that I’ve aroused your attention, I wanted to share a post from Singularity Hub, which examines a parallel technology that was displayed at CS in Vegas a few weeks ago: Liquid Image’s 1080p HD goggles. Goggles that can record, in stunning clarity, the world as you experience it.

Put aside all the AR data super-imposed over the world for now and focus on this aspect of the future: a world where the stratospheric rise in digital image taking is pushed aside by an even more impressive social phenomenon: experiential video recording deluxe…freed from the hand-held device and placed (inconspicuously) in your sunglasses.

As you’ll see in the video, this technology is here now, but of course, it’s just an added gadget for otaku that have no problem looking like a dork wearing ski goggles at the beach. But when this technology becomes integrated into our eyewear…well, the ease with which any of us can turn on the camera will make it too irresistible…and much more powerful.

Some obvious outcomes:

  • implications for crime prevention (David Brin got into this in his novel, Earth)
  • Pro sports broadcasts from the players’ perspective
  • Filmmaking techniques (yes, those films too)
  • Video blogging, social networking, etc.

Okay, you can turn on the AR now. Paint the world as you will and start playing your MMORPG in the real world with real people. MMORPG POV if you will. Cosplay applied on everyone else you see. Willy Wonka superimposed over even the crummiest of armpits: pure imagination.

And of course you can go to the dark side:

  • Bring the war home with you
  • Record your leap off a building
  • Let everyone see you drive that plane into a building or kill that politician
  • Haze, taunt and disgrace your victims for all to see

And then go to the bright side:

  • EZ and irrefutable whistle-blowing, streamed live to the world (wikilenses?)
  • A powerful new tool for eliciting empathy for the victimized and dispossessed.
  • etc. etc. etc.

Personally, I can’t wait for the world’s first chain video where you’re asked to video on up to someone, pass the video-recording baton over to them, and see how long it takes to traverse the planet. That and Willy Wonka Wallpapering on demand.


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