‘Living in the material world’ is sometimes seen as a bad thing, but at least it’s three dimensional. When I walk the streets of London (not my night-job) I’m forever swerving from side to side trying to avoid intense men and women staring at smart-phones and iPads, lost in a screen.
Once upon a time I’d make a conscious effort to avoid a man or woman talking loudly in the street to an invisible companion. Now I’m surrounded by them. There’s no escape. It’s me that’s become odd: Nobby-no-mates - sans earpiece and cell-phone – a sad little man with day dreams for company. Sometimes nothing. Dead space in the head. Wonderful.
One day they’ll come looking for me. Soon it’ll be the silent pedestrian that people steer clear of. Why are they silent? No friends? What’s wrong with them? We’ll be rounded up like stray dogs by well meaning social workers and forcibly taught the wonders of mobile technology.
Google have gone a stage further with their planned launch of Google eyeglasses. When I was young, children with glasses were called ‘goggle-eyes’. A term of abuse. Presumably Google-eyes’ will carry more chic.
These glasses will project entertainment and data straight to the eye and will appeal to, amongst others, Gamers who can conquer whole universes as they walk. It will be a weird balletic dance as both they and I attempt to dodge and swerve in random synch.
Google-glasses will stream information about any given building or object you are interested in; they will have Sat Nav. They will also have the potential for facial recognition. Yes, I know we are quite capable of doing that by ourselves – if we know someone to begin with. This is the augmented kind – streaming the face to a database that will then stream back everything that is known about that person. Bit like Facebook in your face. I imagine you could have premium services for the congenital nosey – or prospective employers.
Bump into someone into a pub and the glasses will be able to tell you the guy is a psychopath - before he lands you one in the stomach. Meeting someone for the very first time and the glasses will be able to tell you how many friends you share in common.
Or you could both just take them off and let the glasses commune in peace. Have a pint.