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Augmented Reality or alternate (un)realities?

January 18, 2010

There’s an amusing article with a serious point to it by the ever-acerbic Charlie Brooker on The Guardian website, on the potential social transformations of so-called ‘augmented reality’ technologies. The idea that ‘augmented reality’ inevitably will diminish or dehumanise as much as it adds or extends is one that has been made many times before, but usually in regard to the ‘subject’, i.e: the person experiencing the augmented reality. What Brooker’s satirical article is saying is that the humanity that is potenitally diminished in these systems is that of ‘others’ who may be effectively hidden by the information that the person using AR desires, and perhaps even deliberately so. I can see this. I think it’s actually a real possibility and the humour of Brooker’s approach shoudn’t disguise the fact that he’s an incredibly perceptive commentator.

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