Futurotheque at Next Generation Internet Policy Summit

Augmented reality artist Sander Veenhof and Leonieke Verhoog, program manager PublicSpaces took their session attendees on a trip to the future. They did this ‘wearing’ the interactive facefilters they created for their speculative fiction and research project the “Futurotheque”. The AR effects transformed them into citizens in the years 2021 till 2030, wearing the technical equipment we can expect to be wearing during those years. But besides the hardware, the filters foremostly intended to visualise the way we’ll experience the world in the near future. Which is through the HUD (Heads Up Display) of our augmented reality wearables.

We tend to think of the future of AR as more of the same, but then in a hands-free way, but this session aimed to look beyond the well known use-cases for these devices. Of course they will provide us with all our information and entertainment needs and they can guide us wherever we are. But will that be our navigation through the physical world, or will these devices try to guide us through life? In what way will cloud intelligence enhance us, making use of the build-in camera that monitors our activites 24/7? What agency do we want keep? And in what way should citizens be supported with handling these new devices, and the new dilemmas arising from their use?

These are abstract issues, but the facefilter visualisations applied on Sander and Leonieke helped to visualise the day-to-day impact of these technical developments on us indivisuals, and have an interesting discussion with the session participants. After a dazzling peek into the next decade, the conclusion was that there’s a lot to think about when these devices are going to be part of our society. But fortunately, that’s not the case yet. We still have time to think of way to integrate this devices in our society beforehand, instead of doing that afterwards.

28 sept 18-19h | NGI program website

The NGI Policy Summit was organised by Nesta and the City of Amsterdam, in collaboration with the European Commission. It forms part of the Next Generation Internet (NGI) programme, the Commission’s flagship initiative to build a more democratic inclusive and resilient future internet.

Sander Veenhof

Vanuit zijn achtergrond in de IT (bedrijfsinformatica, VU) en dankzij een opleiding aan de Gerrit Rietveld kunstacademie zet hij gedachte-experimenten over een augmented toekomst om in prototypes die in het hier en nu te ervaren zijn. Dat AR niet langer een fictieve toekomstvisie is, bewijst de massale aandacht voor het recente Pokemon Go spel. In de paralelle wereld die aan het ontstaan is, speelt lokale plaatsgebonden data een steeds grote rol. Data als de verbindende factor tussen de fysieke ruimte, de mens en de activiteiten die er plaatsvinden. Welk type informatieprofessional gaat aan die wereld vorm en invulling geven? Zijn het de grote tech-giganten Google, Facebook, Microsoft en Apple die ons doen en laten gaan bepalen, of spelen wij daar zelf ook nog een rol in?

Leave a Reply