It seems like every decade has its particular vision of what the future will look like, only to have that vision look comically dated just a few years later. Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which depicted the iPad so accurately that Samsung cited the movie in a lawsuit to allege that Apple didn’t actually invent it, is by far the exception. Usually our predictions of the future are more like the gaudy, curvy telephones of the ’70s or the flying cars from “The Jetsons” that never work out. Just this week at New York’s auto show a Massachusetts-based company unveiled a flying car that bears a serious resemblance to the Jetsons’ car—but all these years later, flying cars are no closer to becoming a thing.
When we first learned from the New York Times’ Nick Bilton in February that Google’s secret workshop Google X Labs was planning to release a version of augmented reality glasses this fall (code name: Project Glass) we felt pretty sure the product would suffer the same fate. In addition to making us all look like insufferable sci-fi nerds, it was hard to imagine many people really wanting augmented reality in front of their faces as they walk around. We already spend most of our waking hour staring at glowing screens. The minute we bring computers onto our faces for the express purpose of weaving their interface into our daily walking lives, it seems we’ll cross some line from which there will be no turning back. The digital umbilical chord will be finally be embedded irrevocably.
But today Google released a video depicting what life with the Google Glass could be like. Two minutes and thirty seconds later, I’m sold. In fact, it almost seems an inevitability that that the lives of our children and grandchildren will be woven with digital information floating above their vision as they walk through everyday life.
As if this all weren’t futuristic enough, Bilton says “Project Glass could hypothetically become Project Contact Lens,” noting the development of “a tiny contact lens that has embedded electronics and can display pixels to a person’s eye.”
That’s some seriously futuristic shit. Until we get there, take a look at the glasses you and all your friends will soon be wearing in the video below.