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Immortal since Oct 16, 2009
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Gabriel Shalom
Quantum Cinema
Cyphox Industries
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    Augmented Reality vs. Aura Recognition [part 1]
    Project: Polytopia
    This post was first published as part one of a series of three posts on on Augmentology 1[L]0[L]1

    Part 1: Absurd Assumptions

    As many opinion leaders have noted, Augmented Reality (AR) may very well be the next evolutionary step in bringing the metadata of the web into our day-to-day lives. Some suggest that AR technology may even surpass the Web in its sustained impact on culture.

    While I whole-heartedly agree with this observation, the use of the term “Augmented Reality” may actually impede any progress forged by these technologies, especially in terms of broad/mainstream acceptance.

    The first reason why the actual phrase “Augmented Reality” may impede the cultural uptake of associated technologies is via the use of the word “augmented” – meaning to raise or make larger. AR enthusiasts seem to be comfortable implying that this new technology is somehow the first technology to augment or enhance our reality. This seems absurd, as human societies have a well-documented history of using biochemical technology to augment reality in the tradition of psychotropic plant-aided shamanism. The innovation of written language was a concrete visualization of reality-augmenting metadata. The city may also be considered an extension of reality considering cities are highly constructed frameworks of architecture, roads, sewers, electrical and telephone lines. It seems more relevant to utilize a word that more accurately describes the idiosyncratic peculiarities of a mobile web-ready experience.

    My second reason for objecting to the AR term stems from when the word “reality” is employed in relation to what are (in most cases) mobile-web applications. This usage implies that other computer applications are not affecting reality, or at least are not affecting reality sufficiently to be labeled accordingly. This also seems an absurd assumption; the host of software which has prevailed during the history of computing have had an affect on reality too (this, of course, is a total understatement). If it were not for preceding software which has already changed our reality, these so-called “augmented reality” applications would not even exist. Furthermore, this use of “reality” in this context indicates that there is one concrete reality which we are in the process of altering with specific technology. Yet, each of us have our own subjective “reality” experience, with some physicists even postulating theories of a holographic reality. While standards for augmented reality ought to be open to ensure accessibility by any mobile web-enabled device, it is a fallacy to interpret these standards as a consensus on reality itself. This new technology is posed to allow us to customize and tweak our own experience of our reality like never before, as well as the “reality” we share with others.

    (to be continued in "Part 2: Infinite Summer Afternoons")

    Sat, Jan 16, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: augmented reality, semantics, aurec, definitions
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    Spaceweaver     Fri, Jan 22, 2010  Permanent link
    One of the most fascinating and effective ways we use for many ages to augment reality is by infusing deeper and richer meaning to names and words that represent aspects or items of common everyday reality. Rituals and myths are repositories of instruments and technologies made to accomplish exactly that. These are indeed the ancient methods of overlaying our narratives, dreams and artistic imagination on plain physicality. Alas, this kind of art is retreating into vagueness when names and words mostly represent 'function' (what is it anyway) or made to differentiate consumerist sentiments.

    Having said this, there is an interesting future to AR that draws from the potential of merging our everyday audio/visual representations with active envisioning and artistic imagination. No longer will everyday reality be a default meeting place of our subjective existential planes. We will have to choose to participate in each other's Arealities (could be a good alternative name.. where the leading A stands for negation, augmentation and art ). A new meeting place - the dawn of an inter-subjective multiplicity.

    shiftctrlesc     Sat, Feb 13, 2010  Permanent link
    "Part of my work is letting people know that they’ve always been part human and part machine." - Amber Case
    Steven Beckmann     Wed, Feb 24, 2010  Permanent link
    So, what I take from this is eventually The One will be self aware in a sense. Whats to keep it from understanding that it is higher than us. Ultimately treating us like cattle?
    kurthlab     Thu, Feb 25, 2010  Permanent link
    Wow, I am simply baffled about Kevin Kelly's statements on the TED video. His views of the Web are so 1990's, where such utopian notions of the web were part the daily agenda. The simple fact that he believes the information is floating out there, and the fact about the web being aware of who you are. We already have web ID's now, and have multiple efforts going on that try and accomplish that, where I can use my facebook ID to login to another account of another service, it is less about the technology and more about human behavior (choices), we don't always want others to know about us or follow our every moves, and we can't always agree upon standards, nor do we all trust each other. And the web is not that big cloud that floats around and connects to each other, without servers that belong to somebody (privately owned mostly) there would be no information on the internet. He has a very child like idea of what the internet is and it baffles me that Ted would host this.

    This is not Star Treck the Next Generation and we are not part of the Borg collective.