Max wrote: Let's start with a simple one. Suppose you are in a foreign country and you look at an indecipherable sign. Suppose your augmented reality system is aware of the languages you know and don't know, and automatically performs the translation and superimposes it over the original. Wouldn't that be cool?
In this case, "augmented reality" is doing the opposite: it's reducing the experience of being in a foreign country. They say foreign travel broadens the mind -- this is doing the opposite.
Max wrote: "Suppose your augmented reality system is aware of the languages you know and don't know, and automatically performs the translation and superimposes it over the original. Wouldn't that be cool?"
And, assuming that this technology is carried on to audio translations ( as it inevitably will be ) ... let's not forget what Douglas Adams wrote, about the Babel fish:
"Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars then anything else in the history of creation."
@Douglas442: Your concern shows, but I don't think that the example you gave necessarily fits into this picture. Voice recognition systems and translation systems would be a common thing in cars, also I think having a connected car means increased passive assistance from a helpdesk that monitors your car's connection to the cloud.
Anand.Yaligar said: "@Douglas442: Your concern shows, but..."
Sorry if I made myself misunderstood on this.
As it happens, I'm simply in the habit of quoting Douglas Adams ( author of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" book series ) at every available opportunity. This is not simply due to my sharing the same first name ( which I've never liked... rhythmically, it does not sync well with my last name... and besides, my parents named me for General MacArthur, for some inexplicable and unknown reason ), or to my having been approximately the same age ( ... well, maybe that is somewhat related to it, after all... ).
More to the point, it's because Adams, himself, is no longer around to satirically comment on technological issues, such as this one. And I generally like to remind everyone that he would likely have had quite a lot to say about it.
For the most part, Adams would probably have liked these ideas.
However, as in all things human, we should always be prepared for the potential of negative consequences, and take heed of those cautionary tales that offer warning. Adams, who died while exercising at the the age of 49 due to an "undiagnosed heart ailment", and who could just possibly have been one of the great wits of our current age had this not happened, was particularly good at telling such stories.
And besides, all of the possibilities that arise from translational and contextual misunderstandings ( whether wholly the product of human error, or of circumstances catastrophically amplified by machine or device interaction ), those both spoken and in print, have been ripe for the stuff of situational humor for a long long time.
@betajet: They say foreign travel broadens the mind -- this is doing the opposite.
Good point -- but the other side of the coin is that there have been times when I've been in a strange country -- in a place where few people spoke understandable English -- not knowing which way to go -- not being able to decipher the signs (ah, how well I remember my first trips to America :-) where I would have settled for having my mind less broadened in exchange for having a clue what to do next.
Max, I think the ability to see an "enhanced" view of a car that needs repair where the AR app guides you through the repair (applying jumper cables let's say) to your specific car is one I'd use. Also, AR is great for immersive gaming, and Altera FPGAs are in Jeri Ellsworth's castAR glassses which she's been demoing. Check them out at Maker Faire this weekend in San Mateo.
@Ktaylor: I think the ability to see an "enhanced" view of a car that needs repair where the AR app guides you through the repair (applying jumper cables let's say) to your specific car is one I'd use.
I totally agree. It's my son's high scghool graduation next week. We're having a family party afterwards -- the guys in the next office do exhibits for shows -- they kindly printed me a 7' tall collarge of photos -- but when it came to the stand, the guy who knows how to make it unfold and work was away -- it defied a bunch of engineers to work it out -- rthen someone thought to look on YouTube and -- blow me down -- there was a video showing how to do it.
That was tremendously useful, but it would have been even better to have had AR with arrows pointing at levers and a voice saying "twist this 45 degrees clockwise then pull it towards you ..."
@KTaylor: Altera FPGAs are in Jeri Ellsworth's castAR glassses which she's been demoing. Check them out at Maker Faire this weekend in San Mateo.
I SO want to go to that -- in fact just yesterday my boss said "do you want to fly out to CA to attend the Maker Faire" and I had to say no because my mother-in-law arrives tomorrow (Saturday) to attend my son's graduation so I'm not allowed to go anywhere (sad face).
Will you be there? If so, if you see Jeri, please telll her I'd love to do a phone interview with her about her castAR glasses
@KTaylor: This coming Friday (23 May) the EETimes Live Online Chat will be all about Augmented Reality (my blog on this chat should go live in about 20 mins) it woudl be great if you could join us -- maybe you could ask Jeri to join us also?
Max wrote: "How much of what I've talked about here do you consider to be plausible?"
I'm afraid this is going to be unavoidable in the future. Indeed, most of the features and issues Max is pointing to in his blog are already feasibles with today technology.
Just merge Siri, GPS possitioning, embedded speech, Google Glass, social network information... everything seems to be converging into this kind of AR technologies.
Maybe the most important thing is education. People must be aware of the information they are consuming and producing. We are alreading facing this in the present, and most of the people who is afraid to the "Big Brother" --A.K.A. NSA in the USA ;-) -- is interchanging private information for services with companies such as Facebook, Google, Linkedin and so on.
@Garcia: Nicely said. People need to be educated about the information they seek and give out during their stay on the internet. With the mixing of various technologies, the thin line between user privacy and information collection is getting blurrier by the minute. We wouldn't like to see that happen now, would we?
A while back Nokia introduced the CityLens on their smart phones, an app that allows the user to know about the city he's in through the camera interface. The app told him the location of hospitals, restaurants etc based on the input picture through the camera. This type of graphically pointing interface can be employed on the windshields of cars, and would probably become a reality at some point because of the ongoing IOT revolution.