Hey. Welcome back, to both of us: I who have put most of my thoughts on fedi lately, and you who have likely come here from my fedi post about this piece. This is a better place for longer thoughts, and I'll try to put them here more often.
I was disappointed when AR never really took off. It's part of the future Gen X was promised: a blend of the digital world and the physical. Information not just at our fingertips, but right before our eyes. Restaurant reviews! Navigation directions! Instant translation! Folks, I was desperate for Google Glass to hit an adoption point that made it affordable, but noooooooo; the same folks you see today holding their phones like floppy pizza slices and subjecting everyone nearby to their conversations were aghast that they might be recorded. 🙄
I don't know how I feel about Apple trying its hand in the market with Apple Vision Pro. MFers sure do like buying Apple products, if for no other reason than to show they have the cash to buy Apple products; the company can usually count on a strong number of early adopters. Public reaction, though, seems a blend of shock at the huge, $3500 price tag and derision for the unattractive cord leading to a "bulky" (really?) battery pack.
No talk of the wild number of cameras the device incorporates. Cameras pointed at the wearer's face! Cameras to catch the wearer's hand movements! Cameras pointed at the user's surroundings. Cameras that are just as likely to snap photos without the consent of the subject, possibly without their knowledge. Cameras that, in 2024, will have better facial recognition software behind them than Glass had eleven years ago.
The lack of discussion means no one—and I mean no one; it's bizarre—seems to know whether an LED will indicate when photos or video are taken. Even articles comparing Vision Pro to Glass, outlining the ways Apple "get it right" after Glass's failure, side-step the subject.
I can't, for the life of me, figure out why recording in public spaces isn't driving conversation around the Apple Vision Pro. In 2012, businesses put up signs banning employees and patrons from wearing Glass. Is there an LED to indicate cameras are recording, beneath mention compared to the headset's other aspects? Do people today care less about privacy in 2023, when we have to claw for every ounce we have? (Their annoying speakerphone conversations point to a strong "maybe".) Are Apple fans too enamored, too ready to accept any Future the company sets before them, to admit that this "better" device might fall into the same trap that killed Glass? Or is it that no one would be caught dead lugging a battery pack around with them in public?
I want AR. I want non-intrusive, ad-free overlays that add to my world. I love present, ready information.
I don't think Apple Vision Pro is what I want. I don't think the public will get the augmented reality I want until manufacturers acknowledge and address privacy concerns, and the public acknowledges that "cover your ass" public recordings aren't as terrible as they imagine.
For fuck's sake, though: with the cost of all the other components, you can afford a bright, honkin' LED indicator. It sure costs less than recording, then projecting an image of a wearer's eyes.