Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Google Glass or Guardian Goggles?

click photo to enlarge
As of yesterday Google Glass has a challenger in the augmented reality, immersive technology, wearable video recording market. The announcement of Guardian Goggles means that the technology giant will face stiff competition from a home-grown alternative. Reading the specifications of the new product I'm especially taken by the "optional built-in anti-bigotry technology" that prevents Guardian newspaper readers being exposed to right-wing columns written by the likes of Melanie Phillips or Richard Littlejohn, "as soon as the user attempts to look at them". Particularly innovatory is the ability to have your blurted out loud, incredulous response to a Guardian article added to the newspaper's "Comment is Free" section within 30 seconds. The observation by Paul McMullan, Professor of Thinkovation, that it's the biggest innovation in news technology "since newspapers opened 'virtual bureaus' in Second Life in 2006, transforming journalism forever" is very perceptive. At least I suppose it is. The trouble is I haven't a clue what he's talking about.

What I want to know is can these Goggles or even the competitor Google Glass expunge cars from the viewer's eyesight and, by a wifi connection, from the viewer's camera? If so, despite the one or two slight difficulties this might introduce into a stroll about town, I'll have a pair. Maybe the same technology could be adapted to transform a Georgian terrace such as this one on London Road in Spalding, Lincolnshire, by removing the bay windows that were added during the Victorian era as well as ridding it of the multiple varieties of window glazing bars, thus allowing us to see it as the architect intended. But somehow I feel such a development will be very near the end of any list of apps that are developed. At the top, undoubtedly, will be one that gives spoken instructions on how to find the nearest hospital that has a proven track record in removing glass from eyeballs.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On