Heads Up Display (HUD) technology is nothing new. In use for half a century, and conceived of in science fiction long before that, it was nevertheless relegated to specialty, often military uses. Yet the potential for a widespread proliferation among the masses has long been presumed. Futurists prophesied an era where all information was accessible without even the press of a button, just by moving your eyes or even thinking. Ray Kurzweil talked about the use of wearable computer interfaces miniaturized into contact lenses by 2019 in his 1999 book, The Age of Spiritual Machines. References in popular entertainment, from the Terminator’s info-laden view, to Geordi’s iconic VISOR in Star Trek: The Next Generation, to Minority Report’s glass wall, gesture-based computer interface and personalized holographic ads etched into our retina as we move through the world, planted the seed in us of the potentially transformative power of the technology in our experience. Smartphones have primed us for incorporating ongoing digital assistance and interaction into our daily physical routine.
The first wave of smartphone apps were primarily of the get me through the day variety: news, games, productivity, and location sensitive services to help us find the nearest steakhouse or flower shop. However, one of the unexpected byproducts of the smart phone revolution has been the emergence of a culture that has tipped toward production and sharing over consumption and utility. The extraordinary rise of iPhoneography with apps like Instagram have transformed our culture in a matter of months into a new form of omnipresent self-expression, turning millions into documentarians of their daily visual experience with instantaneous photo sharing.
The Revolution is Upon Us
Google, perpetually intent on yanking us into the science fiction fantasies of yore with projects like (more…)