david a. smith wearality2

At last month’s Augmented World Expo I had a chance to sit down with David Smith, CTO and co-founder of Wearality, for a conversation about how the Sky open source headset came to be. I had never heard of David or Wearality prior to arriving at the conference. During my first lap of the Exhibitor Expo I came across the Wearality booth, which was really just a high table with a poster hanging behind it and a few early production samples scattered about. The appearance was decidedly more start-up than established business. Next to the table was a man (who turned out to be David Smith) exuberantly extolling the virtues of his product to an attendee. The other company representatives were also deeply engaged, so I poked around at the plastic lens framesets sitting on the table but didn’t have any context to understand what I was looking at. It didn’t seem that I would be able to get attention any time soon so I moved on.

Shortly thereafter I found myself at the Smart Glass Introductions conference session where founders and executives from nine AR and VR glasses makers were given a few minutes each to promote the progress on their products. When it was David’s turn, he took the stage with no slides to show, no demo and no rehearsed spiel — a disposition that matched the sparse vibe of his booth. With the confidence of a quarterback, he launched into a brief promotion of the Wearality Sky that made the product sound absolutely revolutionary. “We think this is a game changer, in fact we know this is,” he pronounced. Read More →

The assertion that the pornography industry has always been at the cutting edge of the adoption and exploitation of new developments in communication technology has pretty much reached axiomatic status. Perhaps the most storied example of this is its fateful selection of VHS over the superior Betamax because of JVC’s decision to lower the cost of the tape duplication machines for production companies. But the demands of the porn industry are also often credited for the accelerated adoption of other technologies such as Polaroid photos and Super 8 film; pay per view and interactive TV; camcorder, DVD, and Blu-Ray; World Wide Web, VoIP, e commerce payments, and video chat. Arguably the Internet itself would not have grown so quickly without the bandwidth demanding, low friction, high privacy enablement of porn consumption.

The question at hand (pun intended) is whether the pornography industry will now step up and push the agenda for virtual technologies? Will pornography change from something we view to something we experience? Can augmented and virtual reality expand the way humans communicate and experience their sexuality? What are the technologies that will play a role in this transformation and how will they be used? What will be the social impacts of the availability of these experiences and how will they change society? These are all very heady questions that I intend to explore in this post.

[Warning! This article is NSFW] Read More →

In my previous post, I explored the many definitions of augmented reality and what it means to persons with different perspectives. In this post I have set out to couch augmented reality in the context of other related concepts in order to further define the space where it exists and better understand the distinction between AR and these related terms. Read More →