There are many benefits to having information presented to a user from an Augmented Reality Smartglass device.
The basic things a person should be able to do with sunglass-style SmartGlasses are the same things you mostly use your mobile phone for now, which is “Data Snacking”.
All of these things done before your eyes without staring away from life:
- Can see an important text as it comes.
- Can see social media updates as you eat lunch.
- Can see who is calling without breaking away from a conversation.
- Can get walking directions to a new city without looking down and feeling like a tourist.
- Can see your cab status while scanning the horizon.
- Can see what is next in your calendar while working with your hands.
- You can see what Pokemon are nearby while still looking straight ahead.
Not only will this make life more convenient, it will ideally enable social situations to be more personable, with us less absorbed in content away from life, and us more looking directly at life.
But now we are seeing the health implications from staring down on our screens
One of the most recent stories to come out is that pedestrians are literally dying, getting hit by cars. This is not just the obvious ‘drivers are being distracted by their devices’, but because consumers are no longer as aware of environmental hazards.
Some cities are trying to combat this with even putting traffic signals on the ground for people staring down, but this still doesn’t help people be more aware of instant changes to their environment.
We don’t even know the ramifications of “Text Neck” will be
Besides dying, a general health concern is nobody knows the long term health ramification of power users looking down at their phones. For many people, they didn’t even own a smart phone or something as useful and engaging until 10 years ago. What will this look like for a power user after 30 to 40 years?
“It is an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common,” Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post. “Just look around you, everyone has their heads down.”
Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites.
That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said.
We need more natural devices to consume information
The obvious answer to this is either get rid of your phone, try to use your phone less, etc . But for the world we live in, that is not realistic for many people.
A device that provides the same information as a mobile device, but allows us to use our bodies more like they are meant to be used.
The main concerns of Smartphones and how they could be alleviated
- “All this information in front of you could have damaging effects of multiple focus.” — Smartglasses could have all the information pushed to the sides of your view, so straight ahead is completely normal, and users just need to glance to corners to get information. This makes receiving the information more deliberate.
- “Bulky headsets look ridiculous and could cause new weight strain issues” - Everyday informational smartglasses should be same size and form factor sunglasses. What makes AR headsets bulky is tech that is not needed to replicate today’s mobile usage. This is why we need normal information glasses before deeper Mixed reality glasses.
- “Waving your hands in the air looks stupid and can cause new physical strain” — Smartglasses could still be controlled by your smartphone or controller, you just wouldn’t need to look at it. Same as you don’t look at a mouse when you use it. This device could ergonomically work as something clipped on your pocket, something your watch etc.
- “Augmented Reality Glasses will make us over distracted, we won’t be able to tell reality from virtual”- This will really be up to the user. By default, one would assume this could work exactly like phone notifications, where a user would just see things important to them, could set up VIP contacts, etc. Ideally, you will just be as distracted as you want to be. Many people have beeps and vibrations for every type of application, many people disable those.
The true marketing angle of Augmented Reality Smartphones might be that it is ‘healthier’
With all the potential short term and long term issues of mobile usage, maybe really the true way to get people excited is just how much more healthier they will be when they aren’t stuck looking down, glued to their screen.