A Tipping Point to Look Forward to: Vision As The New Interface

Of all the tipping points listed in the article, I find vision as the new interface, shift 3, the most interesting. Vision as the new interface means infusing internet and communication capabilities into traditional glasses. The glasses would give wearers the ability to use their vision to access information, communicate with others, and perceive an augmented reality. This technology would allow users to quickly gather information that could improve their performance of tasks and inform their decision making. Additionally, it would give people additional ways to interact with the world, which could improve the lives of disabled people. As with any technology, this development would have some negative impacts. It would increase our dependence on technology, distract us more than we already are, and unleash potential horrors from augmented reality. It also includes some unknowns: its affect on the media landscape and the consequences of increased immediate information consumption. This last point is especially interesting because the increased flood of information has both its benefits and its costs, as it hastes our decision making but also provides us with more information during that process. No matter how much data is available, people still need time to process it.

Google has been a leader in this bold new endeavor. A few years ago, the company released “Google Glass,” a pair of glasses that had a camera, internet access, and virtual reality capabilities. Despite a lot of hype around the product, it quickly failed. Quirks in its design and concerns about privacy intrusion contributed to its inability to succeed. There was also a sense that it was not needed or that it was for tech nerds, so it did not attract a large mainstream consumer base. A few years later, a Wired Magazine article has written about how Google has reinvented its glasses to fit the needs of workers, rather than the average people it sought at first. Google Glass Enterprise Edition is a new incarnation of Google Glass that is now somewhat common in businesses, like industrial plants and medical practices. This technology has eased the workers’ jobs and, in turn, increased productivity. While it Google Glass failed as a consumer product, Google Glass EE has had remarkable success as a business tool.

Despite the failure of vision to become the new interface thus far, investors and tech gurus are still anticipating a day when everyone is wearing these sophisticated glasses. Add Robertson, a journalist for http://TheVerge.com, writes that companies like Google, Alibaba, and the investment branch of J.P. Morgan recently 502 million dollars to the company Magic Leap. This start-up has been developing augmented reality glasses that it expects to be used by ordinary people. This lofty goal has not been backed up by any product release, but hopes remain high for it. This shows that the titans of the tech industry view virtual reality glasses as the future, and they are willing to put a ton of money into it. According to World Economic Forum report, 86% of people believe that this technology will be popular by 2025, so the developers of it better get to work.

Links:

https://www.wired.com/story/google-glass-2-is-here/

https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/22/16505430/magic-leap-augmented-reality-temasek-funding-investment-why

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