We once expected cars to become personal planes, microwave dinners to beget meal pills, acid trips to be replaced by cyberspace adventures, and video calls to give way to to robot patsies. Now, we expect Google Glass to create a hell of oversharing, stalking, and consumerism. The caveat is that we suck at predicting the future. We mistakenly expect the next decade to be an upgraded version of today, forgetting that culture advances along with tech. This taints our judgment and makes us worry: We spread gossip over Snapchat, so we think Glass will encourage people to record and judge our every misstep. We Instagram our dinners, so we think Glass will ignite a FOMO arms race where we overshare and overconsume. We watch Netflix on the way from work, so we expect Glass to drip-feed continuous entertainment so we ignore each other and crash our cars. But that’s not the way the future works. Glass pics will show us that trying to dish about random people is a good way to get your face smashed. Glass makes sharing so trivial, the only way to find something new will be creating it yourself. Of course, try to watch a video or play a game on Glass and you’ll learn a painful lesson. The world will change with Glass. Recording and judging random people will lose its fun. Sharing what you consume will become sharing what you create. Ingesting virtual game worlds and canned entertainment will become passe. A future with Glass could be one where drama, FOMO, and consumption are for old fogeys. It could be postcontent and postsocial. Or it might not. The only certainty I have is that the things we worry about today will sound hilarious in retrospect.
Published by Yours Truly
I'm the hardware hacker from the near future, building tomorrow's electronics for fun and profit. I'm a pro hardware prototyper specializing in connected devices and wearable technology. I also cofounded the Hoboken MakerBar hackerspace, where I build a lot of my projects. View all posts by Yours Truly