Data just wants to get closer and closer and closer, it wants to be petted, it wants you to play with it. Forget the mouse, the screen wants you to touch it — wants you to wear it. Actually, forget the screen, data wants right into your eye.
Aided Eye, anyone? Small shivers of horror and wonder ran down my spine when reading today about adapted eye-tracking technology, described as “a sixth sense” by researchers presenting the proof of concept in the French Alps. According to this Discovery article, tech wizards have been concocting intimate feedback loops between GPS, customized databases, and biofeedback for a steady stream of just-in-time information.
Here’s the scenario: you’re walking down the street and looking at a location, wondering what’s there. You blink a set amount of times to get information. Trackers reading your eye’s positioning connect to GPS and a database, and a pulse of information comes streaming onto your phone — no, it wants to be closer — it comes into your ear through text-to-speech conversion.
And that’s the simple scenario. Another ‘proof of concept’: memory assistance! One of the worst questions in the world — and one of the most universal — is that on-the-spot inquiry, “Have you two met?” Once upon a time, a response of frantic blinking was mere anxiety, as the target of such inquiry calibrated an answer. But in the sunshaded future, that rapid blinking will be an Aided Eye wearer’s infrared sensor-delivered request for data from whatever Facebook’s molted into, from a “lifelog” that will recall the face and tell you what you need to carry on the conversation. (encountered 4.28.2020 23:09:03. likes sunsets and walks on the beach. trust level 7.)
Word from the Alps is that such a system can be mounted onto glasses, though technicians are struggling with how to deliver data feedback. “A tiny screen embedded inside the glasses or an audio system are both options.”
So yes the parties we’ll go to in our glinting iModos — reading other sunglassed faces with our right eye, reading data streaming back with our left. Making clever and timely observations about objects in the room, best database wins. Winking direct messages over to someone who may be smiling, or may be triggering a private replay of an archived video.
We’ll all wear our sunglasses at night — and in fact while we sleep — because you never know when you might wake up in the middle of the night and need to know something.
Data never wants you to be in the dark.