Bionic Vision: “Sight” Short Movie Explores the Coming Future of Augmented Reality

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A picture of an eye with a google glasses style contact lens

A pair of graduate students at the Bezaleal Academy of Arts, in Jeruselem, have created a fascinating short video that experiments with concepts of life in a world full of Augmented Reality technology.

There is little doubt that Terminator-style AR is coming. Today’s vision, limited to mere biological functioning, will seem vastly primitive compared to the bionic eyesight of the future. Augmented reality began to capture the attention of mainstream consumers when Google released their Project Glass trailer showcasing their frames capable of layering digital information over a person’s field of vision.

Though the technology is certain to exist, what is uncertain is what we will do with all of this information.  Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo created the video as part of a graduation project in the visual communications department, and paint a compelling picture of what this world could look like. The video explores concepts around forms of recreation, entertainment, while also raising serious questions about privacy. Is it cheating to have the tastes and interests of your date fed to you in real time during your first meet-up?

AR will see a progression from clunky hardware to less invasive devices, as bionic contact lenses are already in production. A day will come, when the apparatus barrier is removed, and augmented reality is as a part of our experience as smart phones are today. Check out the video to get a taste of this coming world, and be sure to stay tuned for a surprise twist ending:

Aaron Frank
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Aaron Frank

Aaron is a writer and speaker at Singularity University and serves as Principal Faculty. His articles have appeared online in Wired UK and Vice’s Motherboard.
Aaron Frank
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Discussion — 9 Responses

  • wildzbill July 31, 2012 on 7:29 am

    The possibilities inherent in Augmented Reality are amazing, but for a society to function, many services will be restricted.
    For example, if all information was available, you could walk down a street and know where all of the power, water, and sewer lines were, the location of the controls for the local cell phone transmitter, the name and address of every person that you passed, etc.
    That means that if you decided to cause trouble you could easily shut down a city or track down any individual.
    On the other hand, as the video indicated, we would have very little need for real world information feeds such as TVs or signage, or anything normally printed such as a menu.
    Anyone could do anything, such as repair their own car, because they could have instant instruction in real time in 3D.

  • Mack July 31, 2012 on 8:19 am

    Thanks for sharing this video! It’s exactly what we’ve all been dreaming about, thanks to science fiction and our imaginations. It captured all the good, bad, and ugly potential of the not so distant future for those of us who will be able to afford this new technology.

  • AJotr July 31, 2012 on 1:10 pm

    Wow. I don’t post that often because I think most of what appears here is pretty self-explanatory. But this idea and the execution as presented in this downright RETARDED video is positively insulting. Do these uber-nerds in Jerusalem really have such TINY, Testosterone filled imaginations that ALL THEY CAN THINK ABOUT in regards to the future of Augmented Reality is that it will Help Get Them Laid??? Are you effing kidding me?!?!? That everything we do is somehow going to be improved by becoming a freaking Video Game? That a pair of CONTACT LENSES will somehow become a VR Helmet for flight simulation? That anyone will be able to CARRY AN INTELLIGENT CONVERSATION with all that CR*P spewing forth in front of your eyes??? GET REAL!!
    This whole video seems like one more ADOLESCENT FANTASY to replace downloading porn. I’ve much more to say on how OFFENSIVE this video is, not to mention VASTLY UNREALISTIC beyond mere science and technology boundaries, including but not limited to the utterly erroneous idea that somehow this version of Augmented Reality will BENEFIT people rather than turn them into Advertising Junkies barely able to speak a full sentence, but I will finish by saying that if these were the real thing I would literally BAN said porn-contacts in my household, or DISOWN anyone who wore these in my home or in my presence. Compare it to being around a friend with an alcoholism problem – I tell them to come back to me when they are sober. “Come back and talk to me when you are not wearing your Porn-Eyes you godd*mn fool.”
    Wow – the developers of this video REALLY need to get a life and go learn some NORMAL SOCIAL DATING SKILLS!!!
    p.s. Um…. MEDICINE? FIELD WORK? FITNESS TRAINING? OFFICE POTENTIAL? International Communication & Data Exchange????? They seem to have left all of these out!!! The ONE useful element they touched on was looking in the fridge and seeing the expiration dates, and there are now “Smart Fridges” that already do that for you.
    EPIC FAIL!!!

    • jsef64 AJotr July 31, 2012 on 1:43 pm

      Wow. I never post online, because to be fair this whole new social culture has developed pretty much beyond the fringes of my interest. But tech still fascinates me. Which is why I’m here. Anyway to the point: I think you somewhat misinterpreted the video – though of course I could well have done myself. Guess that’s the beauty of the world, so few absolutes.
      Anyway, your reaction exasperated me enough to register and suggest that maybe this video wasn’t striving for an accurate prediction of the future, rather offer an amusing commentary on the ridiculousness that is our Facebook/iApp(s)/gaming culture today…and project forwards to where iLens (or Google equivalent)has well and truly dissolved all trace of our near and not-long-past society. Change is cool, but…that really opens stuff up for another debate.

      I’m sure I haven’t hit the nail on the head, and you can offer an aggressive repost, but at least consider the other side.

    • Kristof AJotr July 31, 2012 on 7:23 pm

      I’m thinking you really missed the point, this type of augmented reality tech is a real possibility and were well on way to bringing it about. I can understand taking offense with the artistic license the creators took, I’m a little offended by some of dumb faces he makes throughout the video myself, but the video does an excellent job of high lighting several very real possibilities. The biggest of which is a program that will relay information about another individual your having a conversation with, including analyzing body language, suggest topics of discussion, reminders of previous conversations, and emotional state. Being able tell blood pressure and pulse will a huge boon to medicine as will lie detection will be to those that want to know if their being lied to.

      I do wish they went deeper into more feats that will be possible, like repairs to machines and other complex tasks. They could have even showed a professional mechanic training/programming a robot how to do his job with this tech. The bottom line is this tech will be another step towards the singularity, it will invade popular culture like the internet, Facebook, and smartphones have and life will seem archaic without it once you have experienced it.

  • why06 July 31, 2012 on 8:24 pm

    I already saw the video on a nother site a few days earlier, but one scene I found striking was the barren walls in his living room, but I guess it makes sense. Why would you need physical objects when one can augment their reality all around them.

    @AJotr: I’m unsure if you are trolling or just unaturally upset for various reasons, but your statements were provocative enough to warrant a reply. First they aren’t porn-goggles i don’t remember seeing any porn in the video o_O. Secondly it is technology to kick people out of your house for wearing the contacts is the definition of technophobia. I would liken it to a native tribal person kicking a civilized man out of his hut for wearing a t-shirt, or an old world religious fundamentalist calling telivision and radio “devil magic”.

    There is simply no cause for the feverant level of hysteria over a technology that does not yet exist. I believe what surprises you is the sheer amount of information on the screen a at once, but this is actly not too dissimilar from the amount of information advent texters get on their phone or the myriad of points, counters, bars, and graphs I keep up with while playing online games. And I know from experience it would be much harder to play online games if all that data was on a sperate screen. You get used to it and begin to filter out info you need and don’t need. Im sure the contacts would have many limiting features as well.

    I would just give it more thought and try to be rational about this before disowning your children, because this is only the tip of the iceberg, I would hate to see how you could cope when devices are communicating directly to your mind and overiding visual sensory centers of the brain in possibly 20 years time.

    When it comes to advancing technology being defensive and scared is never the best approach. Its best to be open minded. Just because you do not understand the appeal of such a device does not mean others will not. Rather one should try to understand others that understand what you cannot.

  • digitalcole August 1, 2012 on 10:19 am

    Pretty cool up till the whole “high-tech” rape at the end.

  • erudite2838 August 20, 2012 on 7:54 pm

    This totally calls into question our whole reality. Can we really alter our perception beyond the point of needed to create anything in the physical reality yet maintain a more sophisticated lifestyle. The future is going to be pretty interesting. For more on perception check this out!

  • Sony Paul June 13, 2015 on 9:12 pm

    It’s been a long time since I have seen a video with a good story. Really love the concept of eye controlled softwares. A nice short film.