In this blogpost I want to show how the near launch of Google Glass for the average user is making emerge a series of parodying science-fiction videos on YouTube; a look into the future and a reflection of the fast changes that are coming. Nevertheless, this is nothing new, since the beginning of time humans liked to imagine how the future would look like; carried along by fantasies our ancestors used to predict the present times in a way that might look curious and even funny for most of us. In the blog PALEOFUTURE written by Matt Novak we can find plenty of very interesting examples of how the future was projected years ago; peals substituting food, time capsules or flying cars are some of the of the examples documented in this blog. However we can find aswell very accurate predictions like for instance a video launched by ARPANET (the progenitor of our global Internet) in which they described future possibilities of this system to revolutionize the future industries and institutions. The film Computer Networks: The Heralds of Resource Sharing (1972) describes at some point a world in which books or bank transactions turned into electrical information, a description of a future idea which has now become real.
However not all the predictions were that precise and not everyone intended to be exact, some of them were quite sceptic and even humorous about what would the future would bring to us. One my favourite ones is the filmmaker Jacques Tati who presents in most of his films a future in which humans find themselves lost in their inefficacy to adapt themselves to technology. Tati creates futuristic scenarios in which the main characters perform clumsy actions, providing a very ironic and enjoyable view of the changes of the 50s and 60s. Playtime is probably the movie, among all his filmography, that best reflects this perspective.
Back to the present Google Glass is in this case generating all type of home-made science fiction videos on YouTube describing how the future will change and how our daily actions will be affected when Google Glass will be ready for general consumption. Most of them are parodies describing our inadaptability in the sense of Jacques Tati but in an augmented reality environment. The general concern that these videos reflect is the transition to a more isolated individual in which our high developed digital system separates us from the physical world coming up with paradoxical and comical situations. Indeed, it is not a new topic but because of the interface of Google Glass it is very realistic to visualize the experience on a fictional video making therefore the critique more effective. Although we are talking about amateur videos it is a good documentation of the current perception of technology in an anthropological sense.
These videos highlight topics such as education, sexuality, miscommunication, entertainment, multitasking, crime… and especially privacy. Privacy is probably the main concern and the biggest challenge Google Glass will face as well as one of the reasons of the deepest critiques. Google Glass will bring big changes for the information technologies but they will bring also a change for our current notion of video which will become much more connected -or extended- to our body. While we wait for the official launch of Google Glass we can let our imagination flow and start thinking about the future implications of this development looking at some of the videos below.
More videos here