Smart glasses are coming, and likely in the next couple of years. Some, in fact, have already been released, but we’re referring more directly to the rollout of a significant consumer device that will be embraced by millions. The impending release of smart glasses from Apple will likely kick off this rollout, and it’s our guess that all of the big mobile tech leaders — Samsung, Google, etc. — will be in the mix with their own devices as well.
There is growing anticipation of these glasses, not as extra tech toys for us all, but essentially as next-gen smartphone alternatives. While it’s not necessarily implied that we’ll stop carrying phones, the thinking is that smart glasses will bring a lot of the mobile functionality we’re used to right to our eyes. The glasses would in theory become our primary mobile devices — able to field calls and messages, surf the internet, and run their own apps for everything from navigation to gaming. What we’re wondering is how storytelling may fit into the picture.
It’s more or less a given that if we do have intelligent tech glasses with their own apps, storytelling will be part of the experience. But there are a few things that will be needed to make it happen.
Adequate Circuit Board Connectivity
Proper circuit boards will actually be required for a number of smart glasses functions, and we can rest assured that they’ll be developed. But this is not a process to take for granted. On the subject of electronic devices establishing strong wireless communications, Altium’s antenna impedance matching calculator overview conveys that the design is actually quite difficult. When a circuit board for any high-tech wireless device is being designed, an intricate process has to be conducted to ensure that the board’s antenna is sending and receiving signals without interruption or delay. As stated, an adequate circuit board will be essential for numerous smart glasses functions. But it will also be necessary if these devices are to be able to download or even stream stories.
In our write-up on the Android Fastboot Reset Tool back in January we pointed out that smartphones are “getting more and more secure with each year passing.” This is basically a function of need. With more people depending more heavily on their phones, and wireless connectivity becoming more of a constant state, it’s simply necessary for the devices to be secure against digital trickery. This will be true of smart glasses as well, both in general and with respect to storytelling. If users are to be expected to download or stream content of this nature, they’ll need to feel confident that the process is safe.
Writers for the Medium
To suggest that writers need to adjust to the new medium may seem strange, but in fact we’ve already seen creative types make adjustments based on the devices people are seeking stories on. Where journalistic storytelling is concerned, content tends to be organized in sections, with quick-hitting points that people can easily consume as they scroll through phones. As for fictional storytelling, a post on Medium about short story apps pointed to some specific programs that have emerged to support content on mobile devices. And more broadly, we’re seeing both fictional and non-fictional storytelling increasingly funneled through podcasts and videos, which are thought to be more engaging for today’s tech-focused consumers. All of these changes have required adjustments on the part of writers, and similar adjustments will be required to craft stories that are well suited to smart glasses.
Not all storytelling through smart glasses will involve augmented reality. But much of it will, and we’ve already seen how important creative animation is to this medium. For those who haven’t spent much time exploring AR, Variety’s update on AR storytelling apps last year shows some examples of just how impressive the visuals can be. If this is the case already in mobile AR, animation is likely to be all the more important on smart glasses, where AR stories can be all the more immersive. We’d expect to see an army of animators ultimately looking to leave their mark on these forthcoming devices.
With all of these subjects addressed, smart glasses will be poised to become powerful storytelling devices. Anything from news articles, to novels, to children’s stories could be presented in a new and exciting manner.