Final Project: Google Glass

            New digital technology tries to find new ways to incorporate itself into daily lives of every individual, which combines new media into a more unified social experience. Project Glass, otherwise known as Google Glass, for example, Google glass is trying to unify across the most (if not all) social media.

By showing the capabilities of user experience people are put into a more perspective and firsthand experience. Doing this we can slowly see an augmented reality, which shown by the end of the video we can see the two couple are connected and sharing what the man sees while his girlfriend is not around.

 Google Glass is innovating on personalize experience by incorporating an almost augmented reality into our lives by pushing boundaries and making things seem more immersive and interactive. Project Glass takes on augmented reality by making it more immersive and interactive, but infringes on the user’s privacy and moral rights by not being able to be used for anything obscene or mature content; while trying to incorporate a social media convergence that is appealing to everyone.

            Google Glass has been preceded by many kinds of technology that make augmented reality a possibility. An experimental app has been developed of the mobile augmented reality system (MARS) that creates “new flexibility [which] makes possible a new kind of application – one that exploits the user’s surrounding context.” (Hollerer, 779) As digital technology advances, it becomes more powerful and more mobile and accessible that we can start using in our daily lives. In contrast, before having the capabilities of being able have an augmented reality; large prototypes have been made of MARS. The MARS project began in 1996, which tries to create an overlay of information that can be shown to the user and information about the MARS project can be further developed at their site. Although over time, since 1996, as computer technology becomes more better mobile devices have becoming more powerful with ideas how we can incorporate into a social media.

From the video shown above we can see that augmented reality is through a medium, such as a tablet, and further reinforced by individuals taking part that makes augmented reality more immersive and interactive. With the Blue Mars project virtual reality is blending into a platform for augmented reality. Augmented reality distances an individual by virtually creating an “augmented . . . avatar, [which can act as a] remote roommate.” (Sherstyuk) This is showing that augmented reality has been thought about early on and many kinds of programs, apps, and objects, but it slowly creates a distance from the user to reality.

            The video above shows how individuals desire “computer vision” which leads to creating a virtual environment. The creation of a virtual environment “we also [begin] to develop means of interacting with that virtual world—of literally reaching in and touching the virtual objects, picking them up, interacting with virtual control panel, etc.” (Fisher, 263) As people become more immerse into the virtual world they begin to forget there is a 3rd party at work that could be infringing on the privacy of the user. Immersing ourselves within the virtual world is easily and often we forget that behind “computer vision” there is also a true reality that we are currently living in.

            As augmented reality becomes more of a realistic ideal many other kinds of attempts have been made to further make things more mobile. By making it more mobile things start to become more immersive. The technology that goes into an augmented reality tries to create an overlay over important aspects of our surroundings, which we can easily access information. Recently as augmented reality seems to quickly approach Google Glass runs into issues with ethical issues of trying to keep privacy, but also having pornography recorded and sent out. With the recent release of the porn app on the Google Glass app market, quickly the company steps in to stop the production or release of any app; while trying to keep privacy under control. Google draws or “gathers a lot of data and to some is increasingly scary” which “Google doesn’t allow users to tell it to disregard their location in its search.” (Hansell) By disregarding some information issues it leads to a controversial project and developing history of how things which originally preceded it. Policies that are mentioned within the terms of use and agreement often presented to the user before using a product, often outlines what the company can and cannot do. In contrast with what the user can and cannot do with the product provided by the 3rd party company. Google outlines what they want in the product and what the user can use it for, but often times ignorance comes into play, which the user does not read the terms and agrees to it blindly.

            As privacy becomes a question when we constantly try to incorporate more of “computer vision” we, as a user, often forget there are multiple things that could be infringing on ethical rights. Ethical rights that recently surfaced on Project Glass are the ideas of having a pornography app for the Google Glass. The app quickly got banned because it violated the “policies . . . that Glass does not allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material.” (Kelly) The idea of augmented reality and trying to figure out the proper purpose for Glass is troublesome in figuring out that this innovation should be used for certain things. While what Google wants to do with the idea of Glass, but other companies try to work their way around it and force itself into the newer digital technology. This is problematic for both the company for the product and the user, because nothing is clearly defined in trying to keep the privacy of the user without constantly collecting data. With trying to keep it valuable step towards to the future, things like pornography or sexual content emerges and stands in the way of trying to figure out the correct purpose of the project. The problem with having porn app on the Glass is that it can be loop-hole around as users can create “home movie” type of idea and share it with friends or upload it onto pornography websites. Home films are “the subject’s willingness to talk openly, intimately, and unself-consciously with the filmmaker” (Katz). If the individual consented to being film and for personal use pornography can get by with Google policies on how the product should be used. This would controversial with Google Glass in trying to prevent sexual content on the Google Glass, but by interfering with the user it could be sad with the idea of having the company infringing on the privacy of the user.

            The video above sums up Project Glass from Google, as a way to fully integrate our lives and obtain “computer vision” as previously mentioned. We can see that the user within the video becomes more immersed, how the object is integrated, and interacted with to show the potential that Google is trying to go with having “computer vision” and augmented reality into an individual’s life. Digital technology, such a thing as augmented reality needs to be thoroughly tested and approached from all possible perspectives and angles, which allows a better user experience. Augmented reality should provide a better experience without infringing on privacies or having mature content in something that could be the advancement of future technology. With newer digital technology trying to incorporate itself into our lives, we need to slowly look at a wide range of perspectives in hopes that it becomes the way of the future, without causing major problems for both the user and the companies.

Works Cited

Fisher, Scott. “Virtual Interface Environments.” Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality. New York: Norton, 2002. 257-67. Print.

Hansell, Saul. “Peeking Into Google’s Use of Data.” New York Times 30 July 2008: n. pag. Print.

Hollerer, Tobias, Steven Feiner, Tachio Terauchi, Gus Rashid, and Drexel Hallaway. “Exploring MARS: Developing Indoor and Outdoor User Interfaces to a Mobile Augmented Reality System.” Computers & Graphics (1990): 779-85. PDF.

Katz, John S. “Family Film: Ethical Implications for Consent.” Image Ethics in the Digital Age. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, 2003. 327-42. Print.

Kelly, Heather. “Google Bans Porn on Google Glass.” CNN. N.p., 4 June 2013. Web. 9 June 2013.

Sherstyuk, Andrei, Kar-Hai Chu, and Sam Joseph. “Virtual Roommates in Ambient Telepresence Applications.” Caltech. N.p., 2008. Web. 8 June 2013. <ugcs.caltech.edu/~andrei/PDF/roommates.icat_2008.pdf>.

 

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Week 10, Hamilton Le

“Secrecy can be defined as blocking information intentionally to prevent others from learning, possessing, using or revealing it . . . privacy, in contrast, is concerned with limiting access to the information. Crucially, this means that under certain conditions, information about a group or person may reach the public view, but the group or person controls what is revealed and to whom.” (Cohen, 317)

This is taken from a book called Media Ethics (1998) by Patterson and Wilkins, which they defined the two different terms. In a digital world we try to use “privacy” in as much things as we can, but by doing we are only limiting a certain amount of access for another individual. By knowing the differences that are in how each word works, things that we have such as images and video clips that we user create can be viewed in a certain way. With laws currently passing with CISPA, the government can monitor without our consent and go through our stuff.

Secrecy and privacy is a way for the user to ensure that the content they produce or have is not violated. This issue rises with moral ethics of trying to understand on user created content. With just user created content we are trying to have the safety that we are not doing anything publically wrong, which as long as things are constantly monitored by the government. The reintroduction of CISPA 2.0 is going against the constitutional rights that we have, by allowing Facebook, and other social media sites to pass along information to government. This would remove the purpose of the social media sites original intentions by trying to connect each individual.

Week 9, Final Project Blog Hamilton Le

The final paper that I will be basing my project is Google Glass. Google Glass is an innovative project proposed by Google late 2011. From a historical perspective Google Glass can be seen as a digital technology that creates a media convergence, multiple social media such as smartphones converging social media and can represent an augmented reality.

The Google Glass further takes on the augmented reality and makes it something a more user interaction, but compensates for the privacy, which it accesses without knowledge of the user. By invading on the privacy of the user for information, how affected is the ethics would be violated by peeking into a user’s life. Google Glass further advances our immersion into the world by supplementing an alternative reality that a user can use the object to project their interests. By projecting their interest they could be telling stories created by the user and turn it into a digital story.

Historical Standpoint: I will use sources that use ideologies that Google Glass tries to project as a product. Google Glass is predated with a multitude of ideologies that try to converge into one and further advance the kind of technology we have while compensating for minor things like privacy and ethics.

Theoretical Standpoint: Giving my project a theoretical framework, I will use a variety of scholarly articles that deal with issues that Google Glass itself present, in addition of the scholarly articles to further research the ideologies of augmented reality I will reference the textbooks we were required for class. I will also need to find sources that could possibly theorize augmented reality in the form of social media.

Week 8: Fair Use and Copyright, Hamilton Le

“Congressional tinkering is a long-standing practice. . .until the major revision culminating in the Copyright Act of 1976. Congress attempted to create a comprehensive structure flexible enough to accommodate technological change and cover virtually any kind of creative activity. . . . Ultimately, the commission’s deliberations act of a definition of a computer program . . . and special provisions relating to permissible copying. Apart from these minor adjustments, it was assumed that the act could cope with any technological changes or any new technologies that may be developed in the future.” (Halpern, 147)

Halpern is stating that copyright issues have been dealt with since what seems like the beginning of time when CDs were in production. Individuals have been pirating and commercial industries have been combatting piracy with everything they could. Congress implemented the Copyright Act of 1976, which allows more flexibility in using copyright music in the creation of technological changes or new technologies that developed in the future.

Many individuals that produced or use copyright music, had issues on YouTube which is dealt with copyright issues a couple of years back. YouTube was regulating more strictly on videos by putting on “claims” on videos that used third-party content, which they punished the individual that uploaded by muting the video or completely taking it down. With the Copyright Act, it gives the rise to remix culture, by having the “Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.” (Copyright Act 1976). This allows more flexibility that the copyright act provided and allows the user or individual to have a more fair use and is not faced with copyright issues.

Week 7: Spectacle and Representations, Hamilton Le

“This endless cornucopia is not here because anyone asked for particular images, songs, or stories, but because someone, somewhere, has a commercial motive. Profit-focused entities want to tempt us to buy their products or attract our attention so that they can sell us as audience members to someone else with something to sell (97). Thus [celebrities] routinely broadcast lies fed them by studio publicists, as long as the stories conformed to the romantic narratives avidly sought by the public. (99)” (Larry Gross)

            Larry Gross is letting the reader know that there is a reason why certain things that appear on the news about individuals from the star system that the public themselves created in the first place are constantly fed false information. The false information is similar to publicity stunts or news that spreads out to the public in order to gain more gossip and coverage about a certain thing they are promoting to the public. This shows that as long as there are individuals that are gullible or want to believe in the lies, which leads us as a consumer constantly knowing that we are interested in what kind of gossip celebrities can bring.

            Gross shows on how the media sets up a hierarchy and that we as the “public” keep thirsting for news of famous individuals, we are constantly are being fed the lies that keeps us at the bottom. This shows an elaborate hierarchy and how media works to a certain extent. Businesses and media always have some kind of commercial motive, because it helps them grow as a company and we are individuals that constantly fall for these kinds of stories, or rather enjoy, which leads us to catering to these stories by showing interest in it. We then fall into the spectacles of the news because the privacy of famous individuals, who seem so distant we feel closer to them as private matters or issues surface.

Week 6 Blog: Reality in Digital Media, Hamilton Le

“Some images become icons simply because they portray people who are famous—typically in some moment of popular or propagandistic publicity or candor—such as Churchill making a ‘V for victory’ hand gesture, Princess Diana shakings hands with AIDS patients, or Che Guevara striking a ‘visionary’ pose.” (David D. Perlmutter, 11)

            Perlmutter is showing how well known individuals often “elites” that has an image they would go out and document certain important events during their time. This would likely propaganda for the well-established individual to place themselves within a “movement” or “current times or event” to make them well known for that period in history. This could be contrastingly familiar to TMZ, which is like a gossip television show that goes and find celebrities that creates gossip or things that individuals or commoners will remember the celebrity by.

            By utilizing the internet popularity of a certain individual would widely spread and become well known. The web or internet world “complete [redefine the image] of person and personal space” that changes how individuals interact with the media. As media and internet become a more viable choice in publicizing an individual it becomes more prominent as each individual tries to leave his or her mark in the history or what they would like to be known for in a certain period of history. The reality and authenticity of the individual becomes more reassured based on what they do based upon the prominent issues going on at the time.

Week 5 Blog: Hamilton Le

“Digital media need to be exploited to generate new ‘objective’ description, new argumentation . . . [with] new forms of journalism and new works of the imagination too. . . . The emancipation of large numbers of otherwise excluded (or neglected) people into the ‘freedom of the internet’ will, if successful and if pushed beyond a ‘look at me’ stage, assist not only in self-expression and communication but also in the development of knowledge in an open innovation network. DST is an excellent initiative for recruiting new participants into that open network, and for lifting levels of digital literacy and popular expertise.” (John Hartley 208)

Hartley is explaining that digital media is a new form or medium that can be used for all kinds of communication as long as it has an “objective description”. The small passage as stated by Hartley above touches upon the idea that DST (Digital Story Telling) is a powerful tool and is part of the idea of the “freedom of the internet” idea. I think what he means is that the internet is almost similar to an alternative reality or a reality that is augmented to our tastes and we can try to document or something similar to journalism. What is in common with journalism and digital storytelling is a documentary about a specific topic that works well with the “freedom of the internet” idea it also creates a “development of knowledge” as more individuals are learning the truth.

http://youtu.be/G6qcJt2NPY8

The following clip above is a movie trailer of a documentary about one of the most famous piracy websites-The Pirate Bay. Pirate Bay is one of the most world renowned piracy websites, and within the documentary it is showing how the creators go through lawsuits, but it is the “freedom of the internet” ideal that prevails and allows for piracy. The piracy laws does not apply to the creators for being in another country, while in our country we try to limit with how we can express ourselves with the recent SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) back in 2012, which it failed. The documentation of the journey one single website goes through is similar to journalism, but rather on a newer medium within the digital world and creating a digital story-telling for the public to learn more about specific topics.

Week 4 Blog: Digital Storytelling/Online Narratives, Hamilton Le

“While narration is integral to virtually all known societies . . . new media such as the personal computer, the Internet and mobile devices offer means of producing and participating in narratives that in some respects differ from what we know from other sign technologies” (62, Drotner)

            Kirsten Drotner mentions this under part of her article “Web 2.0 storytelling”, which explains now narratives are shifting to more of the common individual that differs from the traditional ways to pass on the story which is through books, letters, and audio formats. By becoming digitally connected all kinds of people are able to tell their own story and easily upload it to a mass medium, such as Youtube, where others can peek into the lives of others from only a certain perspective that is shown. Although most of the articles talk about digital storytelling it is how a blogs are ways to connect and tell stories, but as time quickly moves forward we are finding new ways to further innovate narrative and storytelling such as video blogging (vlogs normally called).

            Compared to the “new” media just a few years ago people were still trying to figure out how to use digital media and what kind of mediums that go along with it to connect and further immerse our lives into it. With having an evolving variety of digital products and finding innovative ways to incorporate it into our daily lives through major things such as politics, education, and how perspectives are captured to explain what is going on. Drotner explains how that societies on the evolving practices of digital storytelling or narrative in the education system is how everyone is becoming more connected, which “touches at the heart of these processes . . . on civic participation and social inclusion competence formation and identity work” (77).

           

Week 3 Readings Blog: Hamilton Le

“Using a joystick, the viewer could determine an individual path of movement through this virtual space of imagery. This joystick gave the viewer interactive control over the movement of the viewing window, which would be panned in any horizontal direction over the surface of an image, and could also be zoomed vertically up and down into the digital detail of an image.” (Jeffrey Shaw, 135)

The idea of a virtual space or virtual reality is way for individuals to be able to interact with objects from the comforts of their own home. By “immersing” yourself into a world it creates a virtual space that helps better understand the “reality” of the viewer of what they are viewing. From the quote above a “joystick” gives the viewer deeper control in a more virtual space. This leads to more technology being developed as a way for individuals to fully immerse themselves within some kind of virtual world. Avatars within virtual worlds such as the following video http://youtu.be/r74hkI-JcHY of Second Life, showcasing a virtual reality or space, individuals can interact with and create their own worlds. Second Life functions as a digital medium that the individuals themselves are the “joystick” within the virtual reality.

While this is has to be done through a medium to achieve virtual reality or space, another way is through the following video http://youtu.be/bOU08DALOQo, which showcases an application where the spectator uses the their fingers to navigate through the interior dimensions of a car, which allows them see digital detail and get a perspective of different cars to compare and contrast, making the lives of the individuals more simpler. Both videos encompass the idea of “virtual reality/space” and expanding on it trying to make it simple for the viewer to engage with the evolution of virtual images.

Week 2 Readings Blog

“At the turn of our century, the French mathematician Henri Poincare said the following thing. . . . (Yes, it was in the midst of so-called material progress and the discovery of new Thing. . . .) Poincare pointed out that what was being discovered was not new THINGS but merely the new RELATIONSHIPS between things already existing.” (Paik, 41)

 

            While Nam June Paik quoted from Henri Poincare that the creation or discovery of “new things” is not that it is new, but rather as how can “new relations between things” that already exist are forming together to create a new thing. Paik himself is considered to be one of the first video artists, which he combined two unfamiliar objects as now creating a new thing, but finding the relationship between the two such as the television sets and cello strings onto the television sets. This is shown within his Global Grove (1973) with an opening statement of “This is a glimpse of the video landscape of tomorrow, when you will be able to switch to any TV station on the earth, and TV Guide will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book.” (Global Groove).

            What Paik is showing through Global Groove is the relationships of things that make sense. Paik showed that a TV sets and cello can become an instrument, which is showing the relationship of distinct objects coming together, rather than forming a new thing. Paik can be said similarly based on the decisions made by Myron Krueger decisions in determining interactive art after his failed attempt with his Glowflow experience. Two of Krueger’s decisions that can correlate with Paik’s idea of relationships between things and integrating it to become a piece of art is having interactive art is potentially a richly composable medium quite distinct from the concerns of sculpture, graphic art or music, and the choice of sound and visual response systems should be dictated by their ability to convey a wide variety of conceptual relationships (Krueger, 107). Most of Paik’s video art is finding ways to combine unique objects and form a relationship with them that can be interactive or not.