Stop the Cyborgs! Notes on Adopting Augmented Reality

 About a year ago, right after the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, I bit the bullet and adopted a pair of the Vuzix "Smart" glasses to personally test how they could potentially be factored into a positive educational context. After all, this emerging technology had received glowing reviews. However, I was not impressed. These smart glasses allow for the user to view a tiny screen (duo or monocle) and listen to audio. I am thinking that this will allow me to watch a movie or video on my next plane excursion, delve further into the world of Augmented Reality (AR), and I could razzle dazzle faculty at an upcoming workshop about incorporating AR. (Link to this embedded presentation)    

Augmented reality glasses
Augmented Reality eyewear (Vuzix)

My Reaction

Well, at the time, and I do think this is key, the glasses were too heavy for my nose and ears to manage this lightweight frame.  Yes, I periodically wear glasses, mostly for reading, and I am accustomed to using eyewear. I did try every possible iteration for adjusting and balancing the weight but to no avail.  

I viewed several videos, at various screen widths and resolutions, through the dual eyeglass monitors. The sound from the attached earbuds was lucid and I was able to drown out external noise so as to focus on this experience. Yes, this was a new experience and one that requires some practice to become accustomed to this medium.

While I did return the glasses for refund, I am very hopeful that future design will address these human-centered concerns. I would like to own a pair of glasses and potentially incorporate this emerging technology into my educational practice. And with all technologies, there is always the potential for resistance. My Australian colleague, Ragnar Purje, shared this article about an anti "Terminator-esque" movement dubbed "Stop the Cyborgs".