Overheard on the web...


About living in the Middle Ages, I don't think it was all fun and games. I imagine certain periods and parts somewhat like Iraq under Monsieur Hussein. Nah, if you just hang in there for a few more years, the MMORPGs [massively multiplayer online role playing games] will be as real as you will want them to be. Personally I think we are living in the most interesting of times ever. This September I will be getting a GPRS phone - always online, always on messenger. And this is just a baby step.

Try imagining a world of augmented reality. Do a search for Steve Mann - he's bored with the "real" world. He just wears monitors over his eyes. If he sees a billboard he doesnt like, he "looks" at the billboard (ie, points cams in it's direction), clicks on his one-hand keyboard, and whenever the billboard commercial comes up again, it's replaced with a nice waterfall 1/60th of second before the image is transfered to his retina in it's screened form.

I would have the sun shine all the time, especially in Denmark, or maybe sometimes "turn on" rain, lacking everything but the physical sensation - the sound and visuals would be there.

I will meet a friend in the street and immediately have notes on him pop up on my HUD. He will wirelessly xfer a movie to me from his PC. I have to run, but we keep chatting wirelessly while going our seperate ways.

I go on a trip to the countryside, and look at a tree. Via the HUD I get it's name and maybe even approx. age. The computer informs me via voice, tactiles or the HUD. A beep goes off as the computer has registered an animal far away. I cant pick up on it (eyes can't see that far), but ask the computer to zoom in on it. I make a small recording and forward it to you Rassi, so you have a feel of what the country-side in Scotland is like.

Back in town I walk to the supermarket, to do my shopping. On the way I browse good deals - these have been pre-filtered based on my prior purchases. I select a few, knowing that I will get the shortest route visuals, as soon as I enter the shop.

Still walking, I nearly get lost. I'm still new in the city. I turn on the map feature, and immediatly know where I am. I am bored, so I flip my field of view horizontally - yikes, that's odd!

On the map, I see two blinking dots. Under one it says "Bjørn", under another it says "Michael". They are both within 200m of where I am walking, and I send a "request to meet" signal to both of them. I get an instant message on my HUD - they are also heading for the supermarket.

I'll be there in the 3 mins, so I just turn on the "proximity radio" and hear all the "augments" (yes, I just coined that!) chatting about this and that. The conversation is filtered visually and by the slight movement of my finger, I home in on words such as "politics" and "religion", and filter out all conversations not related to this. Turns out a priest is discussing religion with three other people, one being a local junior politician trying to make a name of himself on the network.

I am just about to join in, when a video call signals blinks pleasantly in the top corner of my HUD (naturally, I don't consider it a HUD - it's just what you see when you open your eyes!). I answer and Ragnhild appears, reminding me to buy milk. She could have just added it directly to my shoppinglist from home, but she still likes the superfluous act of visual interaction.

We enter Tesco and, although not allowed, go for a game of ARQuake (fingers to shoot, run around the shop, avoiding monsters or competitors).

I win.

In other words: [forget] the Middle Ages. Have a bit of patience and you can have whatever ages you want - in any way you want them.