By Daniel Taylor
Amazon’s “digital assistant” Alexa is being incorporated into augmented reality glasses by Vuzix Corp.
As reported by Bloomberg, “The first augmented-reality glasses with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant will be shown next week at CES in Las Vegas.”
The product is part of a trend among tech giants to introduce the idea of a heads up display method of interacting with the digital world, with contact lenses and brain chips the inevitable end goal. Augmented reality involves digital information about real physical locations, products, and people displayed on devices, in this case glasses.
Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook are all heavily investing in and developing products that will plunge users into a new “augmented” reality that is superimposed over our real world.
Computer scientist and father of virtual reality, Jaron Lanier, told the New York Times recently that “I had always feared we would create this social-manipulation technology out of computers.” Regarding VR, he said “it could turn out to be the evilest invention of all time.” Lanier continued “If you control the person’s reality, you control the person…”
Vuzix Corp’s glasses will be the first device to incorporate Amazon’s Alexa. The glasses will initially be sold for $1000, but the company hopes to bring the cost of the device significantly lower.
Tech giants hope that the “low hanging fruit” will drive a societal trend towards a mass integration with AR and VR devices, eventually leading to the transhumanist vision of human bodies merging with machines. Steven Spielberg’s upcoming movie “Ready Player One” will further push the VR concept into the “acceptable” range. An article from the guardian promotes the film as “…a film that dares to show the positive side of living in virtual reality. Steven Spielberg’s future shocker, about people using VR to escape hell on Earth.”
We are being slowly chained down in a kind of technological cave. Ironically, the “connected” age in which we are living has enabled the potential for human isolation like no other time in history. Our reality is increasingly controlled by people we have never seen or even know exist.