Google Glass and Architecture

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Last year, founder Sergey Brin demoed Google Glass a new from the big G that puts an augmented reality display in front of your eye. The device is scheduled for early release to developers and creatives (in order to get feedback before the $1,500 product finds its way to the general public) in just a few weeks, but it has already been highly acclaimed by the media (including Best Inventions of the Year 2012 by Time).

On this video released by Google you can understand what all the hype is about. The 0.5″ display supported by a thin aluminium frame is placed in front of your right eye and thanks to its camera it serves as a two way interface with the Internet. As you can see on the video, natural language instructions (“Glass, take photo”, “Glass, record video”, “Glass, How long is the Brooklyn bridge?”) let you easily control the device and not only check emails or send messages, but also to display maps, definitions, and to share photos and videos in real time. In this aspect, the device opens a big door for architecture.

In our field, the experience is very important, and it is a dimension that hasn’t been able to be reproduced in its entirety through traditional media (plans, 2D or even 3D photos). Attempts to make immersive panoramas or the efforts of architecture photographers to embrace videos have extended the representation, but not in a significative way. And this is why travel is an important thing for the architect.

Imagine a tour broadcasted by the architects of the project, with the possibility of instant reader feedback to discuss a particular moment inside the building. Imagine finally experiencing the approach to the Parthenon like Le Corbusier did almost a century ago.

In this aspect, Google Glass will change the way we understand architecture media.

Cite: Basulto, David. "Google Glass and Architecture" 24 Feb 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=335593>

5 comments

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    Google Glass will inevitably add one more layer of abstraction to the real world. As a new medium with economic effects (poised to open up a whole new market of applications) Google Glass will ultimately transform the way we see the world. It will add one more layer of abstraction to the real world and inevitably provide all the luxuries of escape we might seek. Have you been in line at a Starbucks on to notice everyone is consumed in their phones? The same picture with Google Glass would have everyone in a quiet and unified stupor. All this would force corporations and small businesses to come up with inventive ways of attracting attention which ultimately would change architecture — at a surface level. Because unfortunately, devices like Google Glass while utopic in their promise ultimately require abstraction as way to abandon the limits of the real world. Their lingua franca is only more abstraction, so the ways in which corporations and small business would ultimately induce spectacle would most likely be as abstract and disassociated from reality as the new games and applications that would be made for Glass. It would all be virtual and thus a new architectural surface would be one where materials don’t really matter. But this seems like and old idea, much like Glass itself.

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    What happens when you lead an incredibly poor and dull life and all you have to show on your glass is the t.v. from your couch, or the inside of your work cubicle? It’s not really dynamic then.

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    Translating experience is essential in Interior Design as well as all creative fields. You’ve done an excellent job in explaining why Glass is revolutionary.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    isn’t it obvious that this ‘augmentation’ actually interferes in the way one would experience architecture by him/herself with his own personal and natural perception? imagine having all this crap of images and voices talking to you when you visit luis kahn’s library..making you ‘aware’ of a particular moment..
    or am I just dumb or missed the point?

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