Thursday in class, we watched a video showing women wearing the Microsoft HoloLens to demonstrate what the product can do. The normal reaction to a video of new technology might inspire ‘Oohs and Ahhs’ but that’s not what happened in class. We laughed. Yes, we thought the video was funny. Unfortunately I can’t find the exact video we watched, but below is a video Microsoft has about its product.
Yes, the technology is advancing and shows that the future will have new devices that use augmented reality. Augmented reality is defined as “an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (as a smartphone camera); also : the technology used to create augmented reality” by Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In regards to the Microsoft HoloLens, this means that the user will see something through the Lens that isn’t actual in reality and they will be able to interact with it.
I haven’t hopped on the smart glasses train for a couple of reasons. I don’t want to look like a crazy person waving my hands to work the lens when there is nothing there. I don’t want to accidentally walk into a wall trying to read text messages that appear in the air in front of me. I don’t want to have to speak my texts out loud (nosey people exist and I wouldn’t like having to speak all of my texts). And most importantly, I don’t want to be consumed with what’s being projected in front of my face rather than what’s actually surrounding me.
Amy Webb says that the future will have technology like this everywhere. Webb says that we won’t be holding phones or cameras in the future, but we will be wearing these devices. She even proposed that one day when taking a picture of your daughter on her wedding day, we could blink twice to take the image. That still seems far-fetched to me, but HoloLens and Google Glass being real products shows that this is going to be a reality one day.
These technologies will change communication as we know it. Yes, we can sign up for mobile alerts from some news organizations but this will take it a step further. Breaking news will be on our eyeball-tips (get it? Like fingertips, ha ha I’m hilarious). I think this has the potential to make our population better informed about important issues, but I’m sure someone will find a way to disable those alerts.
As far as safety, these devices have the ability to make communicating safety alerts reach more people faster. This would need to happen when wearing the devices becomes mainstream, but imagine sending out an Amber Alert and everyone immediately seeing the alert flash in front of these eyes. This makes it more difficult to ignore or miss until it’s too late: we’ve all put our phones down to do work or put on the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature on our phones when we go to sleep before. Unplugging is good for sanity, but it makes it difficult to reach large masses of people at once. If a natural disaster is about to hit a town, alerts could be sent to everyone and again, it’ll be flashing right before their eyes.
I think these devices will affect more than what we look like while walking down the street, I think they’ll have positive affects on communication.
Until they’re popular and mainstream, these benefits won’t be able to happen but the future is bright.