Wake Up Call

This Is What Your St. Patrick's Day Could Have Looked Like Through Google Glass

Comedy group stuntbear takes a good hard humorous look at the future through the lens of Google Glass. For those of us who haven't been keeping up with the latest tech news, Glass is a pair of augmented reality glasses that promise to take us one step closer to our Minority Report future, in which all manner of digital information is beamed directly into our eye holes.

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We'll be honest, though: Augmented reality (AR) hasn't exactly been sold very well yet, not even by Google. Videos like this demonstrate that, much as ubiquitous smartphones have failed to make us better people, constant access to Google through voice commands will probably fail to keep us out of jail, too.

Of course, AR already exists; it's just not welded to your face yet. If you've got the Yelp app banging around in your phone, you can tap on the "Monocle" option to get a taste of the future. Yelp Monocle will turn your camera on, grab your GPS location, and then display nearby restaurants. The AR part of the app is that it superimposes the location directly into the camera display so you know exactly which direction the restaurant is. Granted, it's probably still easier to simply look at a map and make your own conclusions, but the future of AR is bright.

For instance, you could walk up to a restaurant and your AR display would immediately pull up several reviews for it, its hours, and menus. It might also inform you if anyone you know has checked in there or is there now. After a night of bar-hopping, you could turn on your AR and rapidly locate the nearest cab by simply looking around. Available cabs could have a digital beacon that broadcasts their location and hailing them, even if they're several block away in the wrong direction, could be as easy as shooting them a text.

The truly breathtaking possibilities for AR only really materialize when we begin connecting our AR displays to literally every piece of equipment in our lives. You probably have a digital thermometer in your kitchen, you definitely have a stove and a microwave. If your stove and thermometer could talk to your AR display, they could push all the data they collect directly into your field of vision. So if you check the temperature of your roast, your AR display could receive those readings and automatically log them for tracking. Perhaps more practically, if your microwave could talk to you, it might shoot you a message signaling that your tea is ready.

With every technology, there is an inevitable downside. Here's a bit of speculative video that demonstrates at least one way all this fancy AR is going to get paid for and how it could be useful in the kitchen.

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Ando Muneno
Contact: Ando Muneno