Women in Technology

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  The Annoying Future of Cell Phone Headsets
Subject:   Actual Reality™
Date:   2007-12-09 08:45:23
From:   mark-o
Interesting scenerio for the future. But I prefer the sound of the real world.

I'd like to suggest an alternative to the insular, virtual reality world you've envisioned: I call it Actual Reality™. That's where you bike to the coffee shop and listen to the birds singing and the sound of your neighborhood. You go to work and have a conversation with a co-worker. On the way home you pass some kids rehearsing their band in the garage; later you attend a party with your friends who are all in the same actual space, interacting to each other rather than some digital construct. I leave to your imagination what happens between you and the actractive fellow human. But believe me, it'll be better in the flesh.

Sound like fun?

As Pete said, "Eleven hours in a tin can–there's got to be a better way!"

Actual Reality™ - get out in the world today! (Yes, the trademark is a joke. Sadly, the concept seems to be as well.)

Grumpy Old Mark

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Showing messages 1 through 3 of 3.

  • actually ...
    2007-12-09 20:46:11  pdx [View]

    i've had similar reactions to the "virtual audio reality" idea from over-50 year olds (a group i belong to myself), and all i can say is: "your objection merely strengthens my conviction that this technology will happen" ... because few things are more attractive to teenagers than being incomprehensible to adults.

    and it's the kids that are now constantly IM-ing, iPod-ing, "MySpace"-ing, "Twitter"-ing, geo-tagging, and "web 2.0"-ing, that will drive adoption. old farts have a tough time understanding how important mobile social networking is becoming to youngsters, but the "always connected, share everything" trend will only continue to increase, and any technology that enables it will be highly sought after.

    sorry, but saying you prefer "actual audio" to "network audio" is like complaining that email has destroyed penmanship (plus, i must say - posting a comment to an online article advocating physical contact over digital communication seems to me to be the very definition of irony :) besides, in practical usage, i suspect wireless headsets will actually increase your ability to enjoy the sound of the natural world, by decreasing the physical noise produced by other people.

    imagine a party of cool kids, all wearing headsets, all tuned into the same DJ -- they can all dance to the same tracks, it's REALLY LOUD in their headsets, yet they can still talk to each other without shouting, and they can exclude everybody not on their wavelength, all at the same time -- and you won't have to pound on the wall to get them to turn down the horrifying noise they call music! how cool is that?
    • actually ...
      2007-12-17 12:16:39  mark-o [View]

      Irony? Isn't that like brassy or steely?

      B'sides, e-mail did destroy my penmanship.

      No worries, I actually enjoyed your article. And I don't doubt that what you predict will happen.

      But I sincerely hope the future doesn't include personal plastic bubbles. Imagine the effect on hairdressing!

      Although I am still waiting for my hovercar.

  • David Battino photo Actual Reality™
    2007-12-09 18:49:07  David Battino | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Reminds me of the time I was composing a soundtrack for a documentary about a painter who was inspired by the ocean. I spent about half an hour synthesizing some wave sounds to get myself in the mood before remembering that I lived two miles from the actual ocean.

    On the other hand, I could have used an isolation bubble recently when I found myself sitting next to a young woman on a crowded airplane. She kept muttering comments just loud enough to interrupt my concentration but not loud enough to understand — all while flashing photos of her boyfriend hoisting an automatic rifle....