Believe it or not, this feature isn’t simply an excuse to fire up yet another picture of Isabelle Olsson. I’ve actually had this brewing in my head for a while, long before Google Glass was announced.
Olsson’s creation simply comes close to welcoming all the crazy stuff I’ve envisioned, which probably – ultimately – equates to Jan’s Worst Nightmare; a dystopian future where everything is recorded and everyone is tracked. I can’t wait!
Yeah, so I figured I should finally churn this bad boy out so I can say: “Told you so!” when it all becomes a reality.
Oh, and I’m not overly concerned with the technical side of things. Heck, some of these features might be nigh on impossible to implement. I’m just an ideas man.
Right, let’s get down to business. Here are seven things I want to see from Google Glass (or any other augmented reality type thingy; doesn’t have to be Olsson’s):
1. A more discreet design
One of the things putting a lot of people off Google Glass is the design. There’s no getting past it; you look like an absolute tool with the device attached to your head.
To be fair, this is only the first iteration of Google Glass, and bits and pieces will get smaller with time. Remember the first mobile phones?
2. Endless battery life
Currently, Google Glass battery life promises “one full day of typical use”, which will inevitably be reduced when using more intensive features such as video recording/calling.
In future, it’d be nice not to have to worry about it. Maybe by the time we’re gone, the world will be one colossal magnetic resonance charger or something.
3. Google Glass doesn’t recognise anyone else’s voice
Again, lord knows how they’d implement this, as voice recognition has proved nightmarish till now. Your voice has a habit of changing, an obvious example being when you have a bad cold. Hmm.
In any case, it’d be ideal not to have other people messing with your (Gl)ass. There are already parodies of this on YouTube, with dudes forcing gruesome pictures on each other’s displays. Blue waffles anyone? Bleurgh.
This is one I’ve had in my head for a looooong time, largely because I’m slightly obsessed with lists and stats. You don’t want to know how many entries I have in Catch Notes.
I’m thinking it’d be cool if Google Glass (or similar) collected life stats, such as the number of times you’ve heard a song, or a list of the books you’ve read.
With songs, there could be some sort of Shazam type thing perpetually scanning for music (remember: battery is no issue). Let’s say it’d add any song that’s picked up for 80%(?) of its duration. Maybe it could add location tags, so you could be like: “Where have I heard this before?”
Similarly, you could note all the things you go to see at the cinema (something my friends and I currently do manually on our phones).
With books, you could scan the barcodes when you're finished or something. I dunno. Again, I’m just an ideas man! But bring on the stats.
5. Who’s nearby?
This is where we start getting into dystopian territory, as some people have a completely irrational fear of being tracked. Look, in the grand scheme of things, you’re not that interesting, and what do you have to hide? An incredibly right-wing view, I know, but whatev’s.
Anyway! How many times have you been somewhere only to discover that your mates were in the same place or nearby?
In my nightmarish future, your augmented reality device will fire up notifications telling you when you’re within X yards of a contact (maybe X could be customisable). And of course you could disable tracking on your own device, if you so desired – and even hide from particular people.
But it’d be cool if you walked into a club or a stadium and it popped up: ‘Dave, Mike and Jan are here!’ Perhaps with little virtual arrows pointing to them.
6. Social networking profiles
This would really take people watching to the next level. Imagine looking at someone and being able to see an About screen, kinda like social networking.
Needless to say, you’d be able to make certain elements – or indeed all – of your profile private, but it’d be a real conversation starter, particularly while drunk. “Hey man, you like <insert terrible band>? Me too!”
And continuing the drunk theme, I’ve always thought it’d be handy to see who’s available and who’s not. To be blunt, there ain’t much point chatting up someone who’s in a relationship. Cue Beyonce: # All the single ladies #
7. Instant messages between non-friends
Chatroulette and the like show that there’s a market for chatting to random people. Weird, I know. But even I fondly recall sending messages via Bluetooth to strangers on trains in my youth. I think you had to send as a contact, if I remember correctly. Good times.
Sticking with the drunk-in-a-club theme, you might want to say to a lady: “Hey, cool t-shirt.” If she ignores you, no harm done; only you realise you’ve been snubbed.
If nothing else, it’d gauge who’s approachable. Fact: some people go out to have a good time and don’t want to be bothered, while others are out to hook up. It’s a freakin’ minefield.
In future, thanks to your augmented reality device (which might actually be inserted into your eye at birth), everything will be recorded, everyone will be tracked, but meeting girls (or boys, if that’s your thing) will be real easy. Win!