Ian Bogost’s analysis of the “glassed out” vacant stare of Google Glass users surfing the web is particularly interesting in that it allows us to think more clearly about the now-familiar way people mark distance from their immediate surroundings by staring down into their smartphones. Bogost cites Olsen, one of the Google Glass designers who explains that they were designed to allow people to not dissociate from their surroundings when checking something online. That may not be such a great thing:

The very invisibility of connection with Glass may form part of the problem. After all, Olsson’s head-down smartphone pokers are clearly signaling their relationship to the physical world, even if the meaning of that signal amounts to, “I am withdrawing from it.” So tempting as the “glassed-out” metaphor might be, it’s the wrong one. “Wearers” are not like users, zoned out and distanced from worldly interactions through artificial chemical supplement. Rather, they are weirdly, undecidably suspended between presence and absence. The glassed-out early adopters of wearable computers signal neither; they signal nothing at all.

Of course, we’ve been complaining about new ways new technologies make us less aware of the here and now for a very long time.

Source: http://xkcd.com/1227/
Source: http://xkcd.com/1227/

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Machine Vision

Cultural Representations of Machine Vision: An Experimental Mixed Methods Workshop

Call for submissions to a workshop, Bergen, Norway
Workshop dates: 15-17 August 2022
Proposals due: 15 June

The Machine Vision in Everyday Life project invites proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop using qualitative approaches and digital methods to analyse how machine vision is represented in art, science fiction, games, social media and other forms of cultural and aesthetic expression.

Digital Humanities Machine Vision

What do different machine vision technologies do in fiction and art?

For the Machine Vision in Everyday Life project we’ve analysed how machine vision technologies are portrayed and used in 500 works of fiction and art, including 77 digital games, 190 digital artworks and 233 movies, novels and other narratives. You can browse […]