Song of the Machine

17 10 2011

I.am.blown.away. This is absolutely amazing work. It all started with a notification from a TED conversation that I had to jump in this morning:

“As unmanned drones, algorithms and prosthetics blur the distinction between man and machine, what, if anything, does it mean to be human?” hosted by Anab Jain (designer and founder of the London and India based collaborative design studio Superflux.

The site is shock-full of amazing projects and proof of concepts. I was particularly interested in the research done on retinal protheses (injecting a virus to infect the degenerate eye with a light-sensitive protein + an optoelectronic augmented wearable).

Song of the Machine explores the possibilities of this new, modified – even enhanced – vision, where wearers adjust for a reduced resolution by tuning into streams of information and electromagnetic vistas, all inaccessible to the ‘normally’ sighted. ” (read more here: http://superflux.in/work/song-machine)

I understand that this particular project targets the sight-challenged people. The implications are heartbreaking-ly awesome. Imagine a blind person seeing the world for the first time, or recovering his/her sight after an accident or disease. But let’s imagine the use of the augmented goggles and joint portable device that project a visual interface for use in mainstream, regular, day-to-day augmented reality. Many conversations have brought up the use of 3D panoramic headsets/glasses to be rewired to project ones Layar-enhanced smartphone view, or a pair of glasses already uploaded with such AR layer (maybe similar to the smart windshield, ref. https://sabinereljic.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/autoglass-hints-at-ar-windshield/). But I have yet to see any prototype of such glasses. On the other end, Superflux offers this proof of concept and is tabling the work on the device and interface with Dr. Degenaar leading the team.

Did you watch that Song of the Machine video? What do you think? find similar work? Post it here and give us your feedback!

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