Augmented Futilities #1

Sample from visual research on an augmented landscape.
23 Apr 2012

A bit of back­ground: ‘Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty’, or ‘AR’, or what­ev­er you want to call it, is gen­er­al­ly under­stood as a dig­i­tal lay­er where infor­ma­tion (like inter­webs infor­ma­tion) inhab­its the phys­i­cal space. It’s like holo­grams, except you get to see them through a cam­era, such as your phone’s cam­era, or bet­ter, through some super duper glasses.

This inves­ti­ga­tion aims at antic­i­pat­ing the evo­lu­tion of aug­ment­ed real­i­ty into a lay­er of mean­ing, self-expres­sion, or even super­sti­tion. The tech­no­log­i­cal aspects of AR, and the debate around whether the mas­sive­ly adopt­ed tech is going to be gog­gles, pro­jec­tions, or lens­es doesn’t inter­est us so much here. Rather, we wish to explore avenues for plau­si­ble change should an “extra lay­er” of real­i­ty become a mun­dane thing.

Assum­ing we’re to expect a con­stant over­lay on every­thing we see, how will this dig­i­tal world of mean­ing inhab­it the pub­lic space? With the process­es avail­able to visu­al­ize this new lay­er, will we be try­ing to trick the eye into believ­ing things that aren’t there, or will we sim­ply wit­ness a true aug­men­ta­tion of the real, func­tion­al world, dressed in its own seman­tic layer?

For a bet­ter expe­ri­ence, put on some of those red-blue shades, get real close to the screen and play it loud. Then, repeat the expe­ri­ence again, and again, and get used to that effect.