Nov 252011

My Eyeballs Rule. But…
I’ve always known that my superior vision makes me better than most people just like, you know, in general. But as the years go by and these contact lenses improve, I’m kinda looking forward to the decline of my, to use the medical definition:
Awesomer Than Perfect” vision.
(This point of hubris might chafe, who cares – while incompetent in
almost every area of human endeavor, 
when it comes to acuity of vision
and skipping rocks, I’m World Class Champion League.
 Aside from those
two things I’m useless, I really shouldn’t even be allowed near WordPress
unless it’s for like, you know, looking at the really small parts or skipping
it across a lake which isn’t possible. So, you work with what you got, son!)

You Won’t Need a Phone or PC
Anyway, weird personal indulgence aside, I want to tell Anthrobotic’s 6-7 regular readers about a research lab at the University of Washington that’s continuing to advance data-delivering contact lenses for us to someday get data from – theoretically as cybernetic prosthetics providing an augmented/virtual reality overlay of the world around us. It’s a rather profound concept – both practically speaking and for the simple and timeless philosophical question of:
“What, really, what the hell is our current reality, yo?”

Looking Out From the Skull
Skip forward lots of years – but not too many – and a simple contact lens with high-res capability could theoretically replace almost every screen you find yourself looking at on a day-to-day basis.

Mobile phone: GONE.
PC/Laptop: GONE.
The Computer Display Business: GONE.

Well, maybe not gone – it’s not like we’re all going to be issued these at birth – but still, imagine a life where you have a phone-sized receiver/processor somewhere on your person, and it’s beaming data to your contact lenses via Bluetooth or whatever, and you basically never look at the pocket device all day long, you just see the stuff that that’s streaming to your eyeballs, man! From doctors and pilots and soldiers and accountants to socialites and potatoes watching porn – it changes the game!

And Your Brain is Already a Virtual Reality Computer. Just Saying.
Such an instrument could profoundly alter the nature of reality. Seriously. Here’s the thing: Since “reality” is such a relative, subjective idea – altering it from the inside screws with our concept of the world around us. See, we have all these sensory organs and systems and they’re feeding info into our heads and then we’re socialized to accept consensus reality and so then actually, really the world around us (whatever that means) is just the sum total of our brain aggregating our body’s feedback signals creating a perceptual schematic, i.e., our awareness of what we call reality.

Well how are these lenses different from a laptop screen? Hugely, because they’re basically internal – like the brains we have: the VR headset we’re all issued at birth! Who knows what the world really, really looks like? Think about it, man. Think about it.

But not too hard. It’ll hurt.

And here’s a brief article, markedly less rambling and dorktastic than the one you just plowed through.


The End of Hardware: Augmented Reality and Beyond”
by Rolf Hainich

Available at Anthrobotic’s Amazon!

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