Bananas Will Become Smartphones
Related AR/VR essays: Apple Will Win The AR/VR Wars, AR Demands Peripherals, Monomode and Multimode in Augmented Reality, Claim a Domain in the Wet Web, Tools and Techniques for AR/VR Media, AR Interoperability Opportunities
We will soon be strapping cameras and screens to our faces.
Welcome to AR. Everything becomes a “touch-screen”. Every object automatically gets a “display” and “gyroscope” and “accelerometer”.
A banana can’t register touch like a capacitive touchscreen, but cameras can detect a pinch near a virtual affordance to indicate a “click”. Pinching is easy on the hands and easy to identify with computer vision from many angles.
In the beginning, menus will hover near QR-codes. As object detection improves, 3D interfaces can wrap around any object. Hello, banana-phone.
As your AR device detects new contexts, it will download custom interfaces. Virtual public interfaces can be shared via a 3D markup language. Email me if you have any 3D markup language suggestions.
When AR is ubiquitous, hardware manufacturers can make smaller devices with no screens and no buttons.
To save costs on physical components, companies will opt for virtual interfaces, much like modern smartphone-controlled devices.
Temper your expectations. Devices are desecrated with crappy LCDs, crappy bluetooth, crappy touch screens, and crappy WiFi. Virtual interfaces will be another iteration of crappy.
Let’s hope virtual interfaces hide themselves when not in use.
Good futures are not inevitable. Companies will be incentivized to pollute your line-of-sight.
Now is the time to set boundaries.
Banana smartphones are fun but impractical.
But general smartphoninification hints at a bright future:
- physical books: highlights, quick definitions, notes, estimated time to chapter
- kitchen tools: approximate measures, tutorials
- foods: nutrition facts, expiration dates, related recipes
- clothes: last-time worn, mending guides, outfit randomizer, clothes recycling
- medications: trackers, extended drug facts
- people: do-not-disturb, contact info, common interests, real-time translation
- sky: constellations, overhead planes, sun/moon/earth axes