Paths of augmented reality affect us all

comp - johannes jansson -
Foto: Johannes Jansson –

As ISE researcher Francesco Lapenta states in his forthcoming article, Google Glass and the new SixthSense devices are only two among many emerging wearable, location based, virtualization technologies that embrace the idea of a pending media personification in the illusion of a new unmediated and enlarged digital life.

While supporting the view that these new augmented visualization technologies will indeed acquire increasing social, cultural and market dominance, questions are raised in Francesco’s new book-chapter about an articulated system of political, economic, technological and cultural paths concerning this, and a far reaching historical framework for these is aimed for.

Locative media brings virtual reality to the next level
The so-called locative media is one of the fastest growing areas in digital technology, hence questions of location and location-awareness are increasingly central to our engagements with online and mobile media, and indeed media and culture generally.

Within this area, many questions of cognitive and social impacts on human beings can be asked. Some of these – questions of social, cultural, cognitive and economic consequences of technologies that do not pretend anymore to `simulate` reality, but instead embraces media `transparency` and `invisibility` are evaluated in the book chapter called “A Critical Look at the Cognitive and Social Scenarios Forecast by New Location Based and Augmented Digital Visualizations Technologies”.

Digital evolution of virtualization 
It is argued in the chapter, that contemporary evolutions in the areas of virtualization, wearable computing, locative media and augmented visualization simply represent the converging steps of new normative systems and algorithmic regimes that will increasingly reshape and transform the significance and function of older ones.

To explain this evolution a comparison is made where the coinage of money is described as the initial step that lead to a long term process of organization and quantification of the physical world. And virtualization, initiated by photography and evolving in forthcoming augmented visualization technologies, is leading the development of new systems and standards that will organize all facets of our already developing augmented life.

The book-chapter is Chapter no. 6 in “Locative Media” Edited by Rowan Wilken, Gerard Goggin, Taylor and Francis 2013.