Google Glass Going to Merge First and Second Life in Very Interesting & Unexpected Ways
I spent Monday and Tuesday on a semi-vacation on the Northern California coastline, which is supremely beautiful and so also made me think of this recent video from Google Glass, highlighting the upcoming device's ability to automatically record real life experiences from a first-person point of view:
When we think about virtual worlds and games, technologies like this threaten to disrupt our assumptions about what they are and will be in the very near future. (Consumers are set to get Google Glass late this year.) We spend a lot of our time in games and online worlds living vicariously through virtual characters who are not us. A technology like Google Glass will enable us to live vicariously through real people who are not us. It's impossible to predict all the ways Google Glass will be used, but several scenarios are likely:
First-person social media: Tens of millions already enjoy following celebrities on Twitter, in great part for the sensation of being a part of their daily lives. Innovative celebrities will make that connection even more literal, by uploading and sharing portions of their daily life recorded on Google Glass with Twitter/Facebook/Google+ followers. Some will go the next step and share just about everything they experience with their fanbase.
First-person narrative: More interesting to me are fictional/semi-fictional stories that can be told from a first-person point of view through Google Glass, where the wearer of the Glasses is an actor who interacts with characters and staged scenarios which we then experience from his or her first-person view. Imagine a show like The Sopranos, but literally viewed from Tony's point of view. Imagine, yes, a pornstar like James Deen wandering from sex scenario to sex scenario while Google Glass is recording.
Augmented reality avatars: Even more interesting to me is using Google Glass' heads-up display technology to merge real world video with some kind of data augmentation. The German military is already doing that with "a Google Glass for combat”, but the same technology could be used to create gaming/augmented reality experiences. Why be satisfied with Google Glass video of a guy jumping out of a normal airplane, when some simple graphic tweaks can make it look like the plane is on fire and you're being chased by death commandos in jet packs?
But as I said, that's only the start, and I bet readers can come up with even more scenarios than these. What's certain is we're going to see these disruptions very soon. We're not even yet ready for an era where more people prefer virtual experiences to real ones (though that time is already here), and we're still less ready for a period when more people prefer the experiences of others to their own.
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