The Future: Backtracking

Ok – a while back I made various predictions about 2010, in which I said augmented reality was cobblers and nobody was going to be interested in it outside it’s “hey wow, neato!” jackdaw-fanboy factor.

Now I’m not so sure.

There’s this environmental monitoring… pond called – where you can dump all the data that you collect with your environmental monitoring gear. Up-dumping. Cloud-dumping. The Sky is a Landfill.

Obviously you don’t have any environmental monitoring gear yet, but you will. Your cellphone is doing it right now… pinging the mothership, but some other fucker is collecting all the information… but in the next decade, most of the traffic on the internet is going to be machine-generated. Smart-metering is probably going to become compulsory… or maybe it won’t have to be, because it pays for itself so quickly and you can do cool things with it… like turn the gas off from 2300 miles away.

I got a special invite to the beta about 1 day before they made it public. is pronounced Patch-bay. Phonetic opacity at it’s worst. The people working on that project are going to spend the rest of their lives spelling it to people over the phone.

Anyway, t’other day they made this video.

Which kindof gave me an “oh holy fuck” moment… if you can make hyper-links-for-the-chosen in actual reality by drawing on a wall with chalk (or spray paint) then it all changes. Suddenly a million possibilities come flooding in.

Like Hobo Codes on steroids

Or early Christian Symbols or the Key of Solomon etc.

There’s this whole avalanche of possibilities not to do with ramming even more information into people’s faces or advertising to them (because everyone hates advertising except advertisers) but for secret, back-channels of communication. Languages that only teenagers can understand.

So… I’ll change my prediction for AR – it’s not necessarily a dork-alert – like tourists standing with maps next to Nelson’s Column… and it’s probably not even that good for this sort of nonsense

which is basically just replacing a mouse control with a bit of paper… it’s all “neato” but it’s not doing anything that you couldn’t do without having to faff about with a piece of paper…

… but something really cheap and nasty – like a cross between graffiti and SMS. Like MySpace escaping from the internet and daubing itself on the back of every bus seat.

It could be quite mental actually. Have you seen the phone boxes in London where every square inch of available glass is covered with prostitute calling cards? Imagine going in there with special glasses on and having he whole lot come to life on you. Holy crap, it’d be like some really tacky 2nd Circle of Hell.