Tuesday, February 23, 2010

[Wednesday] Beyond the Screen

I would also like to expand upon the thoughts on Augmented Reality (AR) that have been laid out by Sean and Tristan. The iPhone AR, as it relates to Manovich, seems to occupy both the screen and virtual reality. As Sean pointed out, AR still "restricts the field of vision to a frame, to the screen." The frame is still in place, but the iPhone user is not passive player; he or she is not immobilized by the screen and controls what the screen sees.

A device known as the Sixth Sense, developed out of MIT Media Lab, is eerily similar to the eye implant that Manovich describes at the conclusion of her chapter. It further blurs the boundary between virtual and physical spaces by projecting onto a hand or wall or any other object of the user's choosing, epitomizing the merger of screen and physical surroundings: "From that moment on, we will carry our prisons with us-not in order to blissfully confuse representations and perceptions (as in cinema), but rather always to 'be in touch;' always connected, always 'plugged-in.' The retina and the screen will merge." (114)

Like Sean and Tristan, this passage also brings up questions of liberation and control for me. How does connectivity free/control us? How might this scenario redefine what we think of as freedom and control?

No comments: