A new video from Google speculates about how glasses could function as our primary interface with the digital world in the future. Project Glass is the work of Google[x], which The New York Times described as "the clandestine lab where Google is tackling a list of 100 shoot-for-the-stars ideas." Wandering into a growing territory known as design fiction, Google is hoping to spark conversation with users about how this technology might work.
Design fiction seeks to push the boundaries of what we expect from technology, Julian Bleecker explains in an interview with the Atlantic Video channel. Bleecker works with the Near Future Laboratory, a creative lab, to imagine and design the technologies of tomorrow. He weighs in on the value of thought experiments like this:
In my mind, it's relevant today because playing in the space between fact and fiction is at the heart of the networked world's media culture. It's a fertile, fuzzy, fun terrain useful for creative thinking about new possible near futures of unexpected products, services, daily experiences. It's a powerful way to do design when you want something truly disruptive rather than the same thing as last year, only in a different color. Fiction provides a safe space for design to make objects and props and the experiences people or robots have around those things. It's safer in the sense that you can think about and design the otherwise untenable because it's all made up anyway. No one's going to blame you for being imaginative and using design and fiction to encourage weird new experiences. And then you have a rationale for fooling the guys in blue shirts and yellow ties with the checkbooks who are almost always from Marketing. You enroll them in the fantastic possibilities enough that they *want it, even if, at the beginning of the meeting, they thought they wanted last year's thing only now with a bigger screen, or that same thing Apple makes, only cheaper, smaller and in party colors.