In a time when everyone seems to be thinking about world economic crisis, insane and extremist pseudo political trends rearing their ugly head, or the possibility of yet another pre-emptive aggression in the middle-east looming ahead on the horizon, I have to say I’m excited again… it’s been a while, but I’m really quite excited again.
Yes, believe it or not, it’s The Matrix, only in this case there’s no blue or red pill to choose from.
Ok, so it’s the Matrix in the way in which Google or Facebook are currently able to serve it up, which means in a very flat, boring, matter-of-fact way. But very soon we’ll start to see the the designers, the 3D artists, the New Steve Jobs’s or Jonathan Ive’s start creating beautiful, poetic, functional design that will come to life in what will literally be the blink of an eye. I’m Hoping the likes of Vasava or Dvein, or any of the tryly gifted and talented designers that went to OFFF will be given real space to play. Experince designers.
To many of you reading this, what I’m writing about may already it may be blatantly obvious, but if that is the case then we’ all being just a little bit too blasé about it. If a fervent Roman Catholic suddenly bumped into the real-life, in the flesh, Jesus Christ, I doubt he/she would take it this matter-of-factly, however much convinced he was of his catholic faith – trust me.
But I digress…
The fact is that we finally find ourselves at the gates of a brand new shift in digital Vs realworld experience… a new change, yet another step up the digital evolution ladder – the actual Cross World Reality is practicaly here.
Imagine a world where you can don a pair of glasses where we are able to project “additional” content to that which is already physically present. If we could use those glasses to capture the information they are facing, we can actually make the “display” on the glasses shift and change angle or perspective as the glasses map the 3dimensional landscape. No need to “black out” original content, it just ads an extra layer that reacts to where youre’ looking at. That is pretty much how x-box kinnect manages to use you as the actual controller for the videogames.
Now if we are able to have some device that recognizes you (or your glasses) and is able to identify you as the contemplator of this this mixed analog/digital landscape – say a simple RFID tag… then the content which you visualize can be modeled according to parameters you may have previously profiled say, on facebook? Or any other digital platform that has your personal parameters instantly available.
It means the following event would be able to take place….
As you approach a large square in the city centre, the sensors on your glasses pick up some markers on which an avatar (of your particular liking) who indicates the way to the concert you’ve bought your tickets for.
As you reach the main square, you can see on stage the group performing, LIVE, with a combination of pyrotechnics, scenery and visual effects like U2, the Rolling Stones or even Gorillaz have never gotten anywhere near of… but, as you walk around the main square, and take in every single detail, you also see, if you take your glasses off, stage suddenly becomes the structure you expect to see in a prison yard inmates open day performance. (???)
The key to what you saw lies in the receiver being linked to the cloud, the digital network, and having enough processing power to assimilate the encrypted information it receives. And for that , we are all more than trained, for our current everyday use mobile devices – yes, Smartphones – have wi-fi completely sorted.
You can put your glasses back on and walk past your average high street window, outside of which is being played – in 3D – their latest season’s catwalk. You stop outside a cafè and the menu is not just read out loud, but you can actually see the different dishes scrolling by your very eyes. Thanks to the RFID (or similar), if you’re not actually signed on to a particular networks or business but have “open” setting on your device, the avatar in question can still address you on first name terms as soon as you walk thought the threshold…. And if you ARE signed in, knowing what your current wardrobe looks like, they can serve up the items of clothing that best combines – according to their own personal shopper suggestions – with your existing wardrobe.
So how do we get this going? Well, it’s already on its way.
Google has already started teasing the general public with their glasses, and that means we are months away from a real working model.We’ve seen tests done on contact lenses and even scientists talking about cutting out the middle man and tapping directly into the optic nerve –though this one would actually need to get past some serious user issues regarding human hardware upgrades… but they key, if the hardware gets there, and the engineers and developers are working flat out on that, is the content, and the format in which we interact with that content. And that’s up to us, the “experience designers”.
I’d say it’s about right now that our CWR Experience Designers need to up their game…