I’ve been meaning to blog about Mobilizy‘s awesome Wikitude AR Travel Guide for Google’s G1 Android mobile since I saw the video demo embedded below (You might need to click through for a big enough display).
It reminded me of the chapters in Howard Rheingold‘s Smart Mobs where he discusses examples of wearable computing and real-life cyborgs – it seemed a bit of a stretch even as recently as 2002 when the book was written – the word cyborg instantly conjures Terminator and Robocop – but in the intervening seven years, it’s become incredibly obvious that the mobile device is essentially the wearable computer in all but attachment (bluetooth headsets?).
And Moore’s Law (strictly speaking: doubling transistors on a circuit every two years, but adopted by many to be about the exponential improvements in technology) seems to be applying particularly to the mobile space at the moment, with the rise of the Smartphone.
Although my mobile is infamous for being a much-abused antique, I’ve been looking at the mobile space for years with regards to social networking, applications, and which phone I’ll pick when I think it’s the right time for capabilities vs price.
18 months ago, my choice was simple, as the Nokia N95 was able to offer connectivity, wifi and the right tools for content creation – and I’ve continued to monitor pirce tariffs for it ever since, even with the release of the iPhone which I consider is for content consumption, not creation.
But now things are changing ever more rapidly. There are new possibilities, like the essentially open G1. And cheaper options for connectivity, like the INQ1 from Hutchinson, with ‘unlimited texts and internet‘ (actually 1GB according to Ts and Cs), plus integration with Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger and Last.fm.
Personally, the one mobile connection that I would consider essential is Twitter, but the idea of fully augmented reality for location-based services is pretty enticing.
Imagine never needing a brochure or guide book because you can just point your phone and find all the information you need automatically. Forget browsing directories or searching – we could soon be told what we’re looking at in any museum, which of the restaurants in plain sight does the best food, or any number of possibilities.
Forget cyborgs – we’re MoBorgs.
MoBorgs get the connectivity, creativity, etc of the wearable computer cyborg, but with one major difference – you don’t look like a tit or an extra from a scifi film. It’s concealable if you wish, and upgradable. And sharable.
The next evolution will be towards services which augment reality in numerous ways via mobile, adding to what is already around us, and improving our connections/social networks. It’s where I’m looking for genius ideas.