On the Threshold of a Dream

I wonder how many filmmakers in the silent era thought about the idea of talking movies. From a design perspective, we now know that the addition of synchronized sound transforms cinema into a radically different medium.

But we know this only because people actually went through the process of making talkies. Intrepid filmmakers experimented, tried out different things, failed and then tried again.

The technology of sync sound is very different from the design of movies created for sync sound. Knowing such a thing is possible, but having no experience of it, is like being on the threshold of a dream, but not having the dream itself.

We are now in a similar place with shared augmented reality. We understand the technology, and we have some theories about what people will do with it. We’ve even seen some cool demos.

Yet the real work of designing AR experiences for ordinary people has not yet really started. We are standing on the very threshold of a dream, but the dream itself has not yet begun.

2 Responses to “On the Threshold of a Dream”

  1. J. Peterson says:

    Also interesting is the shift from just “the missing audio track” to a key element of the story. An early example is Hitchcock using the audio track to subtly get inside a character’s head:


  2. admin says:

    Brilliant example, thanks!

    Although back in the silent era I suspect filmmakers weren’t thinking in terms of “the missing audio track”, just as current filmmakers don’t think in terms of “the missing total holographic physical immersion”.

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