Magic in the eyes
In the 2002 Hollywood blockbuster Mino-rity Report there’s a scene where Tom Cruise’s character uses hand gestures to manipulate data on a floating computer screen. Though a cinematic exaggeration, the scene remains fascinating for its representation of an advanced human-computer interface. Google’s reported prototype of futuristic internet- connected glasses looks like a tangible step in the same direction. The glasses have a see-through screen above the user’s eyes that can show real-time maps, click photographs and even send out messages. Operated through voice commands, it is a phone, a camera and an internet search device all rolled into one.
Wearable computers – a genre represented by the prototype glasses – are an increasingly common phenomenon. They represent not only the desire to see great human-computer interface but also a yearning for reality augmentation. The latter strives to make reality more interesting by providing new data-driven perspectives. Case in point, looking through smart glasses could provide the user with interesting information about a particular building in the line of sight. That’s far more interesting than staring at a plain old, dilapidated grey building. Besides, aren’t even ordinary spectacles supposed to improve your perception of the world around you? Smart glasses only take you some steps further along the way.
The point about too much technology invading our physical space doesn’t cut much ice. The use of these devices is up to the discretion of the user. If the futuristic glasses appear cumbersome, they can easily be turned off. But what is beyond doubt is their functionality. As smart glasses show, the future of computing will be defined by greater usability, with spoken language and gestures sufficient to work technology. Minority Report may soon become a reality. And that’s what’s truly amazing.
Source: The Times of India