If you do not know the term “augmented reality,” read Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End, or for a simpler version, watch the opening to Stranger Than Fiction. If you watched the last link, imagine that on a grander scale: GPS directions projected on your windshield with the arrows in exactly the right places, binoculars that pop up information on whatever you see while bird-watching, or contact lenses that use your wireless to be the perfect monitor.
So, how are your spam filters working? Messages getting through your ad blockers? TV networks that have pop-up ads wandering through your shows because they think you’ll skip the commercials? A good company will have signs that add the equivalent of “click here for our menu and hours” as your go by. Bad companies will be like those TV ads that double the volume, or those ads you need to X out of to see the page, or flash ads that shout, “Hey!” Been rickrolled lately, or sent to something less appealing? I can think of a half-dozen way around these problems, but many of them involve potentially blocking yourself from things you want to see.
Having an IRL ignore list could be helpful, or seeing who people on your friends list have rated as an idiot. We may lose a bit of shared reality as people edit out parts of the world they don’t want to see or think about. I can already see parents putting filters on their kids’ wearable computers, so now they really can keep little Tommy from ever seeing X; we can only hope that kids continue to be better at getting around filters than their parents are at making them. Fast Company has some thoughts on the matter, but frankly, it is an introduction for the flatscans out there, and you probably have much more interesting thoughts on ways to use and abuse having computer overlays in your daily life.
Hat tip: Daily Illuminator