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May 4, 2014 | Google Glass is not augmented reality

One of the things that make me most excited about having shelled out an exorbitant amount of money for Google Glass is that the space for research and design using it remains pretty big. Over the coming weeks and months I’m hoping to use some of the insights I gained from CHI as well as ongoing research questions in wearable computing to explore the area in depth.

The first and important realization that must be made here is that Google Glass is not augmented reality. It’s worrisome that even the leading researchers in the area still manage to confuse this. Google tries to make this clear when it refers to Glass as a “rear-view mirror” and not a “windshield” (though some folks seem to take this quite literally). What are the affordances that a rear-view mirror provide that augmented reality does not?

Augmented reality Rear-view mirror
Display type Occluded or see-through Multiplexed
Overlay Technology is superimposed on reality Technology is near reality
Interaction time Long, immersive (minutes, hours) Short bursts (seconds)
Information density Heavy Lightweight

I find it very fascinating to understand perceived needs that can be solved using these micro-interactions. Predominantly they seem to revolve around:

Surely one may take a cue from our “on a need-basis” interactions with a rear-view mirror and look into more interesting problems to solve? Perhaps the more “meta” question to answer is around privacy, and I have plenty of thoughts around that. Maybe next time.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 4th, 2014 at 3:59 pm, EST under the category of Coding. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.