Google make a spectacle of augmenting reality

Google have released a preview of Project Glass and a glimpse into a world where they see people wearing spectacles designed to specifically make use of augmented reality.

Sound familiar? Maybe not to you, but to me, it’s nothing new or particularly ground breaking, as it’s something I wrote about many years ago, which I dubbed “pre-vision” because no one had yet coined the aforementioned phrase:

“Truly useful technology is often passive, working away tirelessly, doing whatever is required to be done, to be invoked at a time of our choosing.

An example of persistently good passive technology — both from a solutions and an ergonomic point of view — would be a pair of spectacles. These things have been around for centuries and their design has varied little, the same being true of our facial physiology, to which spectacles are specifically designed for.

Our view of the world is always a sensorial affair, but our world is predominantly defined by our view of things, in a very literal sense, which makes these remarkable gadget glasses so appropriate.”

More recently, I included my take on the technology in A Darkening of Fortune, my next science fiction crime thriller:

“Those from the affluent parts of Asia are often the most distinctive, as many would be seen wearing spectacles, though not for opthalmic relief, but as an aide to their viewing pleasure, supplanting hand-held devices and supplementing their vision. They instead see the always-on digitally augmented brave new world, an enriched sprawl of virtual overlaying the real, as street performers walk through imaginary rooms made visible, which slide about their bodies as if they were the centre of motion, and interactive banner adverts, hanging the length of buildings, billowing in the wind, with children jumping up to touch them, just to see the cartoon characters chase each other up the immaterial fabric, laughing as they go, advertising the culinary delights found within one of the many Asian restaurants.

A young girl ushers her friends into a giggling huddle as she stands before them, and with the thumb of one hand to the forefinger of the other, she makes a landscape frame in front of her, and with a blink, she takes a photograph. A human gesture, when observed by the ever vigilant gaze of technology, is empowered in a myriad ways these days.”

Welcome to an alternate, virtually real world…