Unintended lessons

For the last two days I have been attending a conference about augmented reality. It’s been really fun to talk with so many smart people about how AR is the future.

Interestingly, not one of the hundreds of attendees was using AR when they weren’t up on stage. So clearly AR is not the present, which I guess only goes to show that AR is the future. :-)

One talk in particular was filled with unintended lessons. It was a talk by a guy who was doing projects with the Microsoft Hololens.

After giving a really interesting talk, he said that he was going to show a live demo. So he put on his Hololens, held one hand in front of his face, and started to pinch an imaginary object in the air.

This went on for three long minutes. He just stood there, with hundreds of people in the audience watching, and pinched in the air. His thumb and forefinger would come together, and then they would move apart. And then the same thing again. And again, and again.

The audience just sat there politely. At some point I realized I had somehow wandered into the middle of an absurdist comedy, so I turned to the guy next to me and said: “This might just be the most entertaining thing that’s happened at the conference.”

My neighbor agreed with me. We sat there, several hundred of us, rapt in awe, as the guy on stage kept standing there, talking to us while standing still as a statue, except for his right thumb and forefinger, which continued to pinch and release, pinch and release.

Finally somebody in the audience shouted “Do you know that we can’t see anything on the computer screen?”

“Yes,” the speaker replied, “I turned off the display because I’m trying to get it into the right state.”

That was the point where I just threw up my metaphorical hands and gave in to the complete absurdity of the situation. Is this what happens, I wondered to myself, to people who wear AR glasses?

One Response to “Unintended lessons”

  1. Chip says:

    So cringeworthy. I felt bad for the guy at first but then he continued to hold the audience hostage while cycling through a few reboots. It was at that point that I felt no empathy at all. Looking around the room at people firing up their phones or rolling their eyes was priceless. Longest 3 minutes I’ve had in a while.

    Thanks for sharing Ken.

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