|Sep 23, 2017|
Despite Apple’s best efforts, I cannot wait for the time when augmented reality wouldn’t mean holding up a slate of screen in front of my face to see a monkey floating a feet above the ground. Nor swiveling around in public in a deranged waltz with the said screen-slate.
We need glasses for augmenting our realities. And some sort of auditory accessory. Imagine this: You walk to your neighborhood grocer and you are surrounded by glass-wearing, AirPod-sporting masses with mysterious expressions of ecstasy, hands outstretched, eyes wide, mouth in a lopsided grin oblivious to your presence. Doesn’t that sound like an impossibly utopian fantasy?
People ask me, “Isn’t augmented reality just a gimmick?” I say no. The question merely reveals a lack of imagination on your part.
AR can do all sorts of useful things for us, like removing the smog from our view of the city or homeless people from the streets.
But in case you are still scratching your heads and going, “And what else?”, I have a whole laundry list of fascinating, world-changing things you can expect when your world is augmented.
Glasses that can…
…make people appear like cartoon characters. You could make your friends look like Rick and Morty for all you want.
…show a floating IQ number next to people. We already judge people by how they look, after all. Why not also judge them with a more balanced perspective on their smarts? If we ever crack empathy or emotional metrics, I am all for showing those too.
…add / remove random facial hair to people I see in real life. A well placed hair on the head of a bald person can add a whole new level of trust to the interaction.
…turn the sun into a smiley face emoji. That would be so cool to make the fiery ball of fire in the sky into something adorable.
…virtually paint all the ugly tar roads into rainbows. Or buildings with a splash of outrageous cartoon colors.
…make the world a graphic novel with a choice of the mood and style.
…can zoom into planets and stars in when staring at little specs in the sky or even in the right direction.
…amplify ambient light and reduces (or removes) the need for expensive, energy sucking lighting in many places. Wow, who knew nuclear radiation had such an amazing afterglow?
…zoom in on things in the real world by pinching at the air with your fingers. Time to buy the new iGlass with 5x optical zoom!
….show everyone without makeup. Or just allow people to add their makeup profile into all views so they don’t have to actually do it on their skin and faces.
…layer a themed look on the real world like Westworld, Blade runner, Ghost in the shell, Game of Thrones, etc.
Ear pods that can…
…alter the voice tempo of those that speak to you and make them sound like little ant people. Wouldn’t your life be a whole lot more easy to take if your boss was furiously squeaking at you.
…make everyone sound like Kevin Spacey. Or Rajinikanth. Or Batman. Or Helen Mirren.
…narrate your live in the voice of a noir protagonist as you go about life. “The rain pounded the streets of this wretched city as I walked over the grimy, oil-caked pavement to get some yogurt” (Best used with point #6 under Glasses).
…convert dog barks into words. Or cat meows into philosophical one-liners. Finally, the cat memes can come up in real life.
…can suggest witty, sarcastic or friendly responses in conversations depending on the mood as observed by the glasses. You know, you can be a talk show host in real life.
…can add a nice atmospheric background score to life. And mundane conversations. How about a Hans Zimmer orchestration playing while you’re conducting a quarterly review.
…translate the implied meaning when people say something. When the VC says, “Interesting idea, we’ll connect again in 3 months” you know she’s really saying “Shitty idea, no way I am going to come near this now”
….give a pep talk before big moments in life and tells you stuff like “You’re the big tomato in a box of tomatoes” or “It can only go up from here, can’t it?”
The olfactory augmentation is missing here though. We’ll get to it soon, I am sure.