This idea reportedly comes from a competition that Meta (Space Glasses) is holding. The idea is to project a holographic image of your phone in space (using said glasses) and let you virtually interact with it, instead of taking the phone out of your pocket to do exactly the same.
Why is it a brilliant idea?
It’s simple. People get accustomed to their phone’s UIs. Projecting the phone holographically requires not a single new thought and changes nothing about the core experience. Well, it does lose out on touching that sleek and sexy touch-screen, feeling the nicely balanced weight of the phone in your hand, and of course key sensors like accelerometers (to a degree) and cameras (at all) to certain phone experiences.
So I guess that means you couldn’t run old augmented reality apps on your holographic phone for a recursive experience. Oh well. There goes a nice photo op.
Why is this a stupid idea?
Your head mounted device can [eventually] paint pixels anywhere you look. It can detect touch anywhere it can see your hands. Why would we limit ourselves to drawing a 4″ screen when we have an infinitely large screen on our head?
It’s a lot like saying, “Hey, we got used to small CRT TVs so let’s draw a small TV inside our brand new 60″ flat screen TV so people don’t have to learn something new.”
Interfaces for AR will run the gamut from holographic virtual actors who become your daily assistant, to making every physical surface in the world potentially interactive by touch, sight and sound. Why would we limit ourselves to UI mechanisms that were designed around the limits of small screens and touch?
Just for the experience of not having to take our phone out of our pocket? Are we really that lazy? If so, ask yourself how much you’d be willing to pay to use your phone without taking it out of your pocket. I’d pay maybe $1.
This really comes down to a core question about AR. Is it about being the ultimate hands-free device, principally meant to deliver us from holding our phone in our hands or up to our faces? Or is it about re-imagining the analog world with new digital layer(s) of content on top?
I can see an app like this being very popular, at least in the way the fart app is popular. That’s only because people’s imaginations are presently too limited. They just haven’t seen the best ideas yet.
On the other hand, it’s turning out that the most popular interface for your new 60″ flat-screen TV with billions of streaming video options is not some new fancy XBox-like natural UI, but rather just your phone.
So what do I know? People may ultimately find ‘stupid’ brilliant.