Life Laid Bare

File under ‘technology bound to make it’s way into augmented reality’:

– Rik Fairle, Pentax Toughens It Rugged Camera

Here’s a new trick that several vendors have added this year. In addition to face-recognition technology that can register as many as 32 faces, the [Pentax camera model] W90 includes new pet recognition that can recognize and enhance images of up to three preprogrammed faces of dogs and cats. You can set the camera to automatically snap the shutter when the pet turns its face toward the camera.

I am personally more interested in people, but imagine walking through the park and being able to recognize Skippy and Beulah as they are walked by Carla Simon, the pretty girl in 48-D, all courtesy of Pentax glasses model ARP-120.

photo by Ed Yourdon

Life and identity will be laid bare in a world of augmented publicy, like a drawing from David Macauley’s Underground, which reveals the complexities of the infrastructure below our feet, under the pavements and buildings.

Or perhaps like a scientific illustration of some living thing?

‘Klaus, der Bienenvater aus Böhmen’ by Johann Nepomuk Oettl, 1857.

We can’t help but be changed by an augmented understanding of the world and our relationship to others. I continue to think the impacts of this will be largely benign, but in the hands of a police state this could become Orwellian.

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