Last week, Google took another step into making augmented reality very real. And it didn’t involve the return of the ill-fated Google Glass.
During its annual developer conference, the company unveiled Google Lens, a forthcoming feature that will use your smartphone’s camera viewfinder to bring augmented reality experiences to the world around you. Curious about what type of flowers the street vendor is selling? Take a photo of them. Want to find out a restaurant’s Zagat score? Point your viewfinder at the façade. Google Lens will automatically recognize the images it captures and surface any available information. It’s a version augmented reality that’s a lot more helpful than Snapchat selfie filters, that’s for sure.
Augmented reality is just getting started, but could this emerging technology someday take over the world? That’s exactly the concept behind Hyper-Reality, a short film that was released last year but rings true now more than ever. The film was created by London-based graphic designer Keiichi Matsuda and shot on location in Medellin, Colombia.
Our physical and virtual realities are becoming increasingly intertwined.
“Our physical and virtual realities are becoming increasingly intertwined,” reads the project’s website. “Technologies such as VR, augmented reality, wearables, and the internet of things are pointing to a world where technology will envelop every aspect of our lives. It will be the glue between every interaction and experience, offering amazing possibilities, while also controlling the way we understand the world. Hyper-Reality attempts to explore this exciting but dangerous trajectory.”
In Hyper-Reality, people are bombarded by social media, advertising and digital services in the form of augmented reality: From getting an alert about when you should get off the bus to finding the nearest available taxi. Even religion has been gamified so that you accrue more points for helping others and attending mass. But what happens when these augmented reality experiences malfunction or unexpectedly turn off? Watch the film below to find out.