Augmented reality systems like Google’s Project Glass may seem like an incredible new way of making our lives easier, but filmmakers Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo imagine an alternate version of the future, a world in which the new technology begins to damage life. Created as a graduation project upon completing their education at the Bezaleal Academy of Arts in Jerusalem, Sight shows us the darker side of virtual reality.
We follow Patrick, a single gentleman living in a barren bachelor pad in some nameless metropolis. At the opening of the film he lies chest-first on his living room floor with his arms and legs hovering inches above the ground for no apparent reason. But Patrick sees something entirely different. Through a set of special contact lenses, Patrick seems to be careening toward the earth, collecting points as he directs his body through various targets while avoiding any obstacles in his path.
Next we watch him make his way to the kitchen. He opens the refrigerator and an information overlay informs him when his food items will expire. Choosing a cucumber, he begins to cut it as a game of Fruit Ninja launches. The goal of the new game is to slice vegetables evenly to score the most points.
As the film progresses it becomes clear that most things in Patrick’s world are more fiction than fact. For instance, the walls of his apartment are actually empty but when seen through his lenses they are covered in gaming scoreboards and impossibly expensive art pieces. Patrick’s seemingly full and perfect life quickly begins to reflect an uninspired and empty existence.
By the time Patrick is out in the real world with his date, Daphne, augmented reality has become the enemy. Rather than enhance his experience, the lenses become a block between two people, a barrier keeping Patrick and Daphne from truly connecting. As date scores and facial recognition software cross-over Patrick’s vision, he struggles to keep the conversation flowing. Suddenly virtual reality is situated as the enemy and we see a much more complicated example of heavily-integrated applications and how they affect social situations. It’s certainly not the future Google is advertising.
What do you think? Is augmented reality a scary prospect or one you look forward to? How close is Sight to showcasing the future?