Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz thinks his company’s mysterious goggles will, one day, be able to replace “your phones, your televisions, your laptops, your tablets, ” he said at Recode’s Code Media conference on Tuesday.
After more than a decade of furious change, the smartphone is at the height of its powers. It is our constant digital companion, having absorbed the capabilities of the PC, camera, TV, sat-nav, and more along the way.
The screen that shines twice as bright, shines half as long. And the smartphone has shone so very, very brightly.
Smartphone innovation is grinding to a halt. There’s just not that much more to stuff into a handset, which means that adding a curve to the screen is now considered the state of the art. Our smartphones are over-filled with clever features that most of us don’t even know exist, and certainly have never used. In many countries the market is saturated.
Abovitz is the not the only tech executive who’s claiming that the smartphone could, one day, die .
Previously, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that augmented reality – the technology for superimposing digital imagery over the physical world – could replace anything with a screen, too. Microsoft has expressed similar sentiments, as well , with CEO Satya Nadella often referring to head-mounted displays as the “ultimate computer.”
Well, practically, If a pair of glasses could project your text messages, your e-mails, your spreadsheets, and your Netflix in the air in front of you, there’s hardly any need of smartphones.
Current goggles, like Microsoft’s HoloLens or Intel’s prototype Vaunt , are not ripe as much, but we are pretty much closer to this point.
Smart glasses, then, present an appealing alternative. If information is projected straight into our eyes, it could mean no more smartphone zombies staring down at little metal rectangles. If that information only displayed as you need it, it could mean no more mindlessly swiping through Facebook and Reddit for stimulation.
We are not ripe and ready
Facebook and Google are both under the gun right now for their spreading of false information – at best, peddling simple misinformation, and at worst, spreading propaganda that threatens to undermine American democracy.
There are a lot of people out there heavily invested in spreading bad information through the systems people already have in place. When you put on a pair of smart glasses, like what Magic Leap is proposing, you’re handing over a certain measure of control of your senses to a computer.
Smart glasses or mind-reading technology make our relationship with technology even more intimate and difficult to navigate, we may look back on the complications of the smartphone era with something resembling nostalgia.