Between Google Glass making its retail debut and Facebook's purchase of the virtual-reality headset Oculus Rift, it appears that futuristic facial computers are here to stay. But before you chuck your laptop into the river, here's a reminder of what wearable technology means for the world. Namely, that the next generation will definitely be the most socially awkward generation ever to grace planet Earth.
Google Glass boils down a bunch of smartphone functions into a series of face-scrunching commands that would put the most overly serious little league coaches to shame. For example, if you want to quickly snap a photo, you wink. Sounds easy, right? There's only one problem:
Not a Tourette's patient.
You look like a shittier Nicolas Cage movie when you do it. Rarely does someone who's standing in front of the Eiffel Tower or Disney World twitching like their motor neurons are misfiring draw envy from a crowd. And more importantly, we'll soon be living in a lose-lose world where you'll be unsure if that bespectacled stranger winking at you is a creep or a creep with way too much disposable income.
Much like the games on your tablet or smartphone, the announced games for Google Glass so far are a series of repetitive and satisfying tasks such as skeet shooting and a Fruit Ninja knock-off. Y'know, the type of bus activity that makes your commute suck marginally less. That is, unless this is sitting next to you:
"Violently waving at things only you can see is my turf." -bus hobo
Yup, Glass has basically taken an activity reserved for waiting rooms and made it a full-contact experience -- or at the very least a complete debasement. Look, this is a product made by one of the world's foremost tech companies. It shouldn't look goofier than drum pants.
In case you're wondering, that guy above is saying the word "Bang!" over and over, which should entertain your seatmates endlessly on those long cross-continental plane rides.
The Oculus Rift is so damn immersive that it pretty much cuts the final cord between video games and any outside world nuisances like light, sound, spouses, fire alarms, and human dignity. A good example of this is the fact that the goggles allow you to move your head within the world of the game, resulting in both an all-encompassing experience and righteous amusement for anyone you don't realize is in the room with you.
"Wow, this Stevie Wonder simulator is incredible."
The Oculus Rift furnishes a wonderful kind of hermetically sealed ignorance that makes your friends steal the paintings off the wall just because they can. In fact, it's rivaled only by the fact that half of all Google Glass commands are going to inadvertently make the user sup-nod every stranger on the street.
"Dude, she's totally into you."
Do you live alone and own strong door locks? Congratulations, you're impervious to any third-party-induced Oculus Rift shame. But any neighbors you might have will still be treated to a solo performance of your oblivious, feverish screams as you're immersed in a firefight with whatever invading alien space marines are currently wrapped around your skull.
Road to VR
You do the same motions for hentai games, too.
What will happen when the police are called to investigate nonstop joyful whooping, only to find you humping what appears to be a dentist chair, but is in actuality a bird simulator?
Moments before, he dropped trou to crap on freshly washed virtual cars.
Or maybe you don't have neighbors. Look, we're not trying to be killjoys and act like these gadgets aren't stupid-amazing advancements in entertainment technology. It's just that when our descendants look back at moments like this, the past 300 years will erroneously be labeled "The Age of Dorks."
Narrowly beating out "The Neck Crampaissance."