Text in the air

Sometime in the next few years we will get the augmented reality glasses that we really want. I’m not talking about earlier experiments like Google Glass, but something more like A.R. on your phone, placing virtual objects directly into the 3D world around you, as though they are part of reality.

When this happens, visual text will start to show up in face to face conversations. I am curious to know what sorts of text everyone will end up using.

This is not a technical question, but more of a psychological and sociological one. What sorts of text floating in the air will end up supporting and enhancing face to face conversation, rather than just being annoying or distracting.

In one extreme we may end up with emojis. In between is something like short Instant Messages or even single words and phrases. At the other extreme, we will read entire documents together, perhaps jumping from one doc to another via hyperlinks as our discussion progresses. Or we might end up using a mix of all of these things, depending on context.

Whatever it is, it will all seem perfectly normal to kids who will grow up with it. Hopefully that “normal” won’t include ads everywhere.

2 Responses to “Text in the air”

  1. Stefan Fritzsche says:

    This is something I am generally wary about.. as seen in many (dystopian?) science fiction movies and also in games (recent Watch_Dogs comes to mind, depicting London in the near future) – if we’re not careful the majority of this added layer will consist of advertisement. And suddenly you will need some kind of AR ad-blocker to not get swamped and overwhelmed by it.

    Especially disconcerting: when the ads start adressing you personally (like they did in I think it was Minority Report) – “do you want this Mr. X”, “can I interest you in that Mrs. Y” .. that could be a level of intrusion that will be very hard to ignore no matter how much you try to not care / ignore.

    Only solution then: taking of your AR glasses. IF they’re still glasses and not implants that is 😉

  2. Stefan Fritzsche says:

    on a more positive (?) note: how about a Paul Ekman FACS system that displays probability of thruthfulness next to your counterpart’s face about what they just said. “I would love to come to your party!” .. 86% probability of deception detected – imagine how that would change our conversations and how we use politeness and white lies

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