If you weren't terrified by the teaser trailer for the future that Google posted yesterday, you have stronger constitutions than us. "Project Glass," a video preview shared on Google+ by a team from the company's super-secret future lab, Google X, depicts what's supposed to be an enviable state of affairs -- an existence superimposed with eye-level projections of info and widgets supplied by Google's forthcoming "augmented reality glasses."
WATCH "Project Glass":
The glasses-wearing hero of "Project Glass" spends a happy future day in New York City getting subway updates from his eyewear, hanging with a normal-glasses-wearing friend, instantly scheduling a date to see (the sadly fictional) musician "Monsieur Gayno" after happening upon a poster, and finally serenading his girl virtually from a rooftop at sunset (while she's, what, at home waiting for him?) by strumming the ukulele he learned to play thanks to sage advice from his glasses.
In what's clearly meant to be the video's coup de grace, we're treated to the revelation just before the serenade that the music we heard throughout the video was not in fact an external soundtrack, but a song our hero had been listening to all along in order to play it smoothly later on. This little twist perfectly encapsulates our problems with the whole experiment. On the one hand, Mr. Glasses was able to subtly brush up on his ukulele tune all day due to cutting-edge wizardry. On the other, he was listening to music the whole time he hung out with his friend. Conscious or not, this plot decision seems to point to the kind of douchebaggery the glasses will encourage, like the bluetooth before them. Yes you are talking, friend, and I am nodding, but that doesn't mean there isn't an alternative set of noises playing in my ear that I have deemed more important than you.Now we've got another glasses criticism to add to the conversation, courtesy Jonathan McIntosh. McIntosh, a hacker who writes frequently about the ills of advertising (and who produced the brilliant gendered ad remixer we posted about last week), remixed the "Project Glasses" video to include the one genre of information Google left out in their demo: Google ads, of course! In his video "ADmented Reality," McIntosh edited in the actual Google ad returns he received for Google searches based on the "dialog, situation or setting" of the original video. This time around, our glasses hero keeps it real, playing his ukulele all soulful-like while an ad for Romantic NYC Boat Cruise blocks the sunset.
WATCH McIntosh's "ADmented Reality Remix":