Beyond the screen

What happens in a world without screens?  Per the new fall NBC show “Revolution”, family becomes key-in a world without power, we’ll grow closer as clans and rely on these trusted circles in order to survive. Stories will likely focus on family, as well, and lessons from experience will therefore be more limited. At first, at least, then stories will start to spread, legends will grow, and connections could be made once again (we’ll see what the show has in store).

On the other end of the spectrum, when technology is so integrated that screens are essentially “built-in” – simple layers over our eyes – what happens to connections?  Two students from the Bezaleal Academy of Arts put together a short, speculative film covering just this scenario:

Sight from Sight Systems on Vimeo.

Now, this is a student-made short film. Part of the starkness and lack of people is likely due to that, but think about it. In a world where your vision is your interface, would you need to have actual books on your shelves, papers on the desk, and frames on the wall? If you can order and pay via this interface, do you really need a waiter? I found the lack of human connection quite sad and scary here. Would we all just retreat to the world created by our “sight”? And then, of course, there’s the end of the video, which puts the level of interaction into question even more.

What happens to other senses when all of the processing of experience happens in front of our eyes? What changes, overall, about how we experience the world?

Of course, there are sci-fi movies and novels along the same lines, but this hit home because I guess I was expecting a closer to current Augmented Reality (AR) experience.

In a world where connections with others aren’t “needed”, do we just become a wall of achievements, a checklist? What happens to our stories? Can stories be the way to save such a society?


One thought on “Beyond the screen

  1. Very well-written and thought-provoking piece! Yes, the movie was desolate. I do think that getting to know people is one of the joys of life, but it sometimes seems that there are already zombies out there. Many people seem to project themselves onto me, saying things like, “I know you, you like steak and potatoes.” I don’t. It is almost as if they are saying it is not worth their time to get to know me.

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