Mediated Life after Virtualization. A Critical Look at the Scenarios Forecast by New Wearable Augmented Reality Visualization Technologies.
If, as Thomas and Cook state, ‘visual representations and digital visualization techniques take advantage of the human eye’s broad bandwidth pathway into the mind to allow users to see, explore, and understand large amounts of information at once’ what are the consequences of a technology that does not pretend anymore to “simulate” reality or its visualization but now “naturally” creates the way we see the world and experience it?
What will follow the inevitable technological peak and demise of old communication technologies such as the mobile and the screen? If the mobile embodied the newly acquired freedom from the constrained spaces of earlier mediated communications. And the screen, the frame, the partition that for a long time both connected and divided reality from its representation. The “SixthSense” and “Project Glass” both represent the early steps in the final technological, cognitive and cultural evolution that will finally embrace media transparency and invisibility (Project Glass), and welcome media anthropomorphization (SixthSense) in the illusion of a new “unmediated” and “augmented” life. Mobiles and the screen will not disappear, at first, but new “seamless” and “immersive” technological evolutions will acquire social, cultural and market dominance while cannibalizing previous technological milestones very much like television did with photography, radio and cinema, and the computer did with them all.