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The End of Reality - The New Augmented Reality

The 21st century has introduced an array of technologies that strive to enable the seamless mix of virtual content and real-world environments. The ability to augment the human senses holds great potential, but could there be an inherent conflict with our natural experiences of our surroundings?
Emerging head-worn displays, such as Google Glass, promise to simplify and amplify our experiences of the real world, but are we also risking to diminish and reduce the value of an unaltered reality?
This session will examine a number of current and future technologies in the light of the interactions and experiences that they may deliver and the failures that may be foreseen. What are the risks of augmented reality technologies? What is the potential and the tradeoffs in adopting this new science? What are the implications beyond our visual perception for augmenting touch, hearing, smell and taste?


  1. What can we expect from head-worn display projects like Google Glass?
  2. What is beyond today's mobile devices and location-based services?
  3. What interfaces makes sense for this emerging paradigm of ubiquitous computing?
  4. What can we expect from new interface modalities, such as brain-computer interfaces, synthetic substances and meditative techniques?
  5. What are the implications for human life, civilization, when perception and reality is tweakable, adjustable and programmable to fit and server specific purposes?



Alex Olwal, Researcher, MIT Media Lab

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