Monday, 1 April 2013

Future Shock, Google Glass & 3D Printing

I think I'm suffering from some kind of future shock right now. There seems to be a general surge in technology and I don't feel like I'm totally on top of things. I was just coming to grips with the new 3D printing technology, I even downloaded some 3D modeling software to get me into designing in 3D but yesterday I heard about google glass for the first time and I really felt like I'd fallen into some science fiction movie or something.
I'm rather keen on looking back in time, fascinated by all things historical, particularly the care and detail that went into everything. I am also very excited about the future and have always read lots of sci fi books and thought about how it might be. Now I find that I'm almost in the future and it's not quite what I thought it would be.
Our technology is developing so fast that it is outstripping our wisdom to use it. Take 3D printers for example, you might think how great it is that you can print out spare parts for something that breaks or scan a little bug and 3D print a big version of it and call it 'art' or make dolls house furniture or a million other random uses, but you can also 3D print guns and people do.
What about google glass? I'd never heard of this until yesterday but basically it's a little computer on your face which allows you, by voice control, to record, take photos, use GPS to superimpose where you want to go over reality in front of your very eyes, all in real time. You can also access the internet as you would a normal computer so ask questions and get answers, get translations if you are in a foreign country and the list is endless. Basically think cyborg and your there.
They look like this...
And that little bit of glass is the screen. You can record people and places without their knowledge or consent, you can already do that to some extent but this makes invasion of privacy even easier.

Now, the future shock part of things is that I don't really know what I think about all this new technology. I haven't had time to process it ethically so I'm just floundering around in a dither wondering what to think. I'm no luddite and I embrace technology but there are some big 'BUT's' (he he ;-) Bum jokes aside, one does wonder where we will be in another 10 years time, how the new technology will affect our daily lives. Will owning a 3D printer mean that we don't need to buy lots of the things we get from the hardware store, toy shop etc. How will that effect business and the economy? Will having easy access to things make them less intrinsically valuable and therefore, us less obsessed with consumerism and focus on the real and important things that matter, like relationships, health, fitness, fun etc? Or will we fill the world up with more pointless plastic?
Will Google glasses remove us even further from the present moment or will they connect people more closely together? Will remembering anything become unnecessary when all your questions are answerable immediately, you don't need to know, the internet can know things for you... so many questions and only time will tell. I think I'll keep my slightly rose tinted spectacles of nostalgia on for a little while longer, before I try the new Google glasses...


  1. Here is a steampunk version of Google Glass:

  2. and rendered with blender no less, I've just downloaded Blender...really must get stuck into learning that! Thanks for the link!