Transparent Mobile Search - Just Frame The Question

The Looking Glass is a design concept by Tokyo resident Mac Funamizu that would provide for transparent mobile internet search. Really transparent mobile search.

(The Looking Glass)

The basic idea is both simple and usable. The user of the device essentially "frames" his question by using the device to frame a picture. In the illustration above, the user frames a building.

The device takes a picture of what the user sees through the glass, analyzes the image, and then outlines key parts of the image, adding information from internet sites.

(Mobile internet search via The Looking Glass)

Another potential use would be to lay the device on a book page. The device could look up references and, with a touch screen display, could look up individual words.

Providing a good informational overlay is a great use of the augmented reality concept. Science fiction fans got to have some great examples of how this future technology will be overlayed on their lives in the recent novel Halting State, by Charles Stross. Consider the overlay specs, which are very helpful when playing SPOOKS.

There's also a brief printed note on paper. "Attach to front of building above eye level facing the street. When attached, initiate pairing with your phone to 'unnamed device 1142.' Passcode is 46hg52Q. Once paired, dial ##*49##*, and leave the area..."

Bloody typical. You pocket the bugging device, or whatever it is, key the co-ordinates into your specs, and let the overlay guide you along the pavement towards the target building..."
(Read more about overlay specs)

The idea for a science-fictional see-through display has been around for a while. H.G. Wells played with the idea in his futuristic 1936 film Things to Come, with a transparent wide-screen flat panel display (click link for more views).

(Transparent flat panel display from Things to Come)

From Future of Internet Search: Mobile Version via Yanko Design; thanks to Moira for the tip.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/24/2008)

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