One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, called my attention to the Gooey project to market a device to project a structured image directly into the eye from a ‘visor’. [Link] We were both a bit underwhelmed. MIF made me listen to an interminable (?) rumination over his involvement with a Yankee army project to do this years ago and how their prototypes gave the flag officers such heebie geebies that they grabbed a much less elegant and effective industry alternative that almost destroyed the army’s recruitment program for helicopter pilots.
This is not something that sits easily on humans. The mental aspects cascade into physiological ones. There are people who get violent and violently ill when they think about laser weapon programs that will blind tens and hundreds of times more people than they do other damage to. This is why the airplane drivers guild and the Yankee governments aviation overlord-ship get all Nazi on kids with green light laser pointers. It is why serious amateur astronomers have to skulk about their righteous endeavors for fear of being beaten with truncheons or shipped off to Guantanamo.
And now Gooey wants to infuse pictures directly into the eyeball? Reminds me of that Futurama episode about the eyePhone.
But I am also unexcited. After all, I grew up in the 1950′s when 3-D horror and (bad) SF movies were the rage mostly because of the novelty of wearing the dichromatic glasses and seeing violence ‘jump’ out of the screen. Now, of course, they have all sorts of better devices, none of which work for people who wear eyeglasses. So the ultimate test of whether the Gooey eyepump is more than a meaningless distraction is whether it works with my (necessary) eyeglasses. If not, this is one more technology that can be easily ignored.
Ignorable technology is the coming rage, I suspect. Simply put, the population, at least of the Yankee republic, is aging and technology is not compelling unless it does something demonstrably worthwhile to anyone past the age of reproductive obsession, which admittedly is delayed in GEN Y. I am happy of reports they may actually mature but I am not holding my respiration.
Case in point. I bought a large digital television just before Solstice. The phase change was precipitated by FD SCP and I being off on a gallop and she was sufficiently taken by the instrument (?) in our hotel room as to overload my mental solution with gotta-get-one. So I did. And I find I am ungathered by it. It has a bit more resolution than our old instruments, which is a kindness to old eyes, but since we watch analog formatted programming, mostly old movies and traditional evening network pablum, not whelmingly so. And it is SLOW! I can get a nap in waiting for it to switch channels. Which drives one to switch whenever there is a commercial break just to miss that five minutes of vapidity.
Second case: no smart cellular telephone. First of all, it isn’t smart because sentience is a prerequisite. But beyond that I am unengaged to expend cash on a ‘data plan’ when I have no visceral idea that it will have any benefit. The things I know a smart phone will do, basically PDA stuff, are not compelling to an ORF.
Increasingly, it seems that late adoption is rationality.
So while the eyepump is attractive from the standpoint of letting me do computer stuff without the size defining LCD screen, do I really want to surf the net while I try to walk and not fall over my own feet or the gibble on the ground? And if it won’t work with my glasses it is a non-starter.
To quote Michael Valentine Smith, “Waiting is.” But there are lots of more important, immediate things to grok and use cognitive attention span on.