Skip to main content
March 15, 2010

“Eyewear is the next mobile form factor” and other bold mobile predictions from SXSW

augmented_reality_glassesAUSTIN, Texas – You have five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. While your mobile doesn’t have the last two (yet), it can have a few more: location (gps), proximity (to your ear), acceleration (speed), orientation (direction), and some even have temperature.

In what was one of the most interesting SXSW panels thus far, the experts at “What if your phone had 5 senses” discussed where our mobiles are heading. Below are a few of their ideas. But first, a trivia question: What was the first consumer augmented reality device? Answer after the break…

According to the panel: The Sony Walkman. You could walk around in reality listening to your favorite music. Though according to Nokia’s Jan Chipchase, the first augmented reality device was that transparent red paper that would show answers when overlayed on a test or board game. (remember that stuff? I do.) But on to the predictions…

– Navigating GPS on your mobile while driving can be unsafe. Using voice control would be much safer. But do you want everyone in the car able to accidentally give it voice commands? What if it used its’ proximity sensor to know when it was next to your ear? What if it was able to learn synonyms of words so you could say, “Take me to my homeboy’s pad, baby!” instead of “Navigate to John Smith’s house, baby!”

– Imagine your device was connected to you while you sleep and knew whether you were almost awake, dreaming, or deep sleep. What if instead of setting your alarm for “7:00”, you set it for “almost awake” so you don’t get awoken during that cool flying dream. (my second favorite dream)

If augmented reality is the future, wouldn’t mobile technology in glasses make sense? One of the SXSW panelists said, “Eyewear is the next mobile form factor”. Instead of keeping your head down to look at a device, it will always be up. Instead of a small screen, you’ll have the highest resolution possible. Instead of a photograph of your environment, you’ll see an overlay of metadata. And no more worries about the sun glare on your screen.

How about designer augmented-reality-glasses co-produced by trendy sunglass brands like D&G and Gucci? And how about a virtual pet dog that can only be seen through these glasses? Woof!

Or what if your mobile kept track of what you’re doing. What if it reminded you to stop visiting the liquor store. Or maybe it could recognize changes in your voice and could recommend a trip to the doctor’s office. I’d personally find this very useful.

Whatever happens or doesn’t happen, one thing is for sure: The future just keeps getting more awesome.