Augmented Reality short film might be an accurate representation of the future, but I hope not.

by Mark R

augm082mda-thumb-550x354-32805The image that you see here is from a short film called “Augmented (hyper) Reality: Domestic Robocop”. It is a short film by Keiichi Matsuda, a Masters student at the Bartlett School of Architecture in the United Kingdom. I think he deserves top marks for his effort to show us what the future could be like.

I believe that I have praised augmented reality on this blog before, I even called it the “Coolest Gadget Ever” at CES 2009. I’ve since seen many variations of it, which were mostly entertainment, save for the X-ray vision app for drivers. However, I have now seen the dark side of augmented reality, and it will hopefully never be our future.

You can watch the video of it after the jump. You will notice that the viewer is bombarded by corporate logos, that must be waved away in order to become virtual posters on the wall. The user then was able to pull up a window with a tea recipe, and the goggles, or whatever interface he was wearing, knew exactly where the ingredients were.

My source compares this concept kitchen to something out of Alice and Wonderland, but in all honesty, I would compare it to the dark cyberpunk worlds of early-nineties science fiction, like the works of William Gibson. Just imagine being bombarded with corporate ads as we go through our day. I mean, do we really want our augmented reality programs giving us an inventory of our refrigerator? In all honesty, I feel that perhaps this is the end result of augmented reality: a dumbed-down society where our interfaces are constantly telling us what to do next.

Okay, I don’t want to end this article on a negative note and claim that our humanity will be conquered by our technology. However, I think there is a limit to how much augmented reality should be used in a person’s daily life, and the main character of this short film is overdosing.


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