Oh My God, It's Full of Ads.
February 11, 2010 12:28 AM   Subscribe

Augmented Reality, You, Your Kitchen, and the Excellent Products You Will Buy Today. An architecture student films a Gibsonesque, banal-yet-vivid-and-colorful vision of the AR future; his half-dozen videos extend into different realms.
posted by darth_tedious (49 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not sure what to think about the idea that our attention will be pulled in so many different directions we will need to look-up and use step-by-step instructions for making a cup of tea.
posted by gac at 12:55 AM on February 11, 2010


This is good.

Some of the videos look like snippets of what is composited into the final product. Does anyone know what software he used?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:57 AM on February 11, 2010


I get the feeling that being able to afford a lifestyle like that would be such a burden. I'm reminded of how much I love the fact that camping never really changes, no matter how future it gets.

This video is pretty cool and I enjoyed it, thanks!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:12 AM on February 11, 2010


That's so much like the inside of my head it's scary. That's exactly how I picture the future being.
posted by empath at 1:21 AM on February 11, 2010


I don't know what's more depressing, that this is what the future would look like, or how annoying it would be to fight through the visual clutter of hundreds of pop-up ads for bullets as you loaded your gun to end your life.
posted by Davenhill at 1:29 AM on February 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


gac: "I'm not sure what to think about the idea that our attention will be pulled in so many different directions we will need to look-up and use step-by-step instructions for making a cup of tea."

From the International Organization for Standardization:
ISO STANDARD 1303 (ORIGINAL: BS 6008:1980, CROSS REFERENCE BS 5987)
PRODUCED BY: ISO Technical Committee 34 (Food products), Sub-Committee 8 (Tea)

"Method for preparation of a liquor of tea for use in sensory tests"

ABSTRACT:

The method consists in extracting of soluble substances in dried tea leaf, containing in a porcelain or earthenware pot, by means of freshly boiling water, pouring of the liquor into a white porcelain or earthenware bowl, examination of the organoleptic properties of the infused leaf, and of the liquid with or without milk or both.

DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS:
  • The pot should be white porcelain or glazed earthenware and have a partly serrated edge. It should have a lid that fits loosely inside the pot.
  • If a large pot is used, it should hold a maximum of 310 ml (±8 ml) and must weigh 200g (±10g).
  • If a small pot is used, it should hold a minimum of 150 ml (±4 ml) and must weigh 118g (±10g).
  • 2 grams of tea (measured to ±2% accuracy) per 100ml boiling water is placed into the pot.
  • Freshly boiling water is poured into the pot to within 4-6mm of the brim.
  • The water should be similar to the drinking water where the tea will be consumed
  • Brewing time is six minutes.
  • The brewed tea is then poured into a white porcelain or glazed earthenware bowl.
  • If a large bowl is used, it must have a capacity of 380ml and weigh 200g (±20g)
  • If a small bowl is used, it must have a capacity of 200ml and weigh 105g (±20g)
  • If the test involves milk, then it can be added before or after pouring the infused tea.
  • Milk added after the pouring of tea is best tasted when the liquid is between 65 - 80°C.
  • 5ml of milk for the large bowl, or 2.5ml for the small bowl, is used.
DETAILED SCHEMATICS: BS6008 (.pdf, 11 pages)

For tea sampling instructions, see ISO 14502-1:2005 ["Determination of substances characteristic of green and black tea"]
posted by Rhaomi at 1:30 AM on February 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


I just found myself imagining Mrs Morte's reaction on coming home to find I'd covered the entire kitchen with masking tape and little black dots and my subsequent banning from everything.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:38 AM on February 11, 2010


'You're doing great'

Bloody hilarious.

I think this is the logical conclusion to the fetish we are developing for infotickered-dashboarded-hyperlinked-lifehackerishness.
posted by Kiwi at 1:45 AM on February 11, 2010


I can't wait. "Adblocker detected. Disable to use kitchen."
posted by The Mouthchew at 2:00 AM on February 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I realized that when the guy's viewing his facebook/social network equivalent, his body is sort of just hanging out there, staring into space.

I predict the rise of massively popular, user-friendly embeddable networkable augmented devices in the year 2097, followed by the rise of massively popular, comfortable, luxury leather chairs on which to recline and relax in, in the year 2098.
posted by suedehead at 2:03 AM on February 11, 2010


I predict the rise of massively popular, user-friendly embeddable networkable augmented devices in the year 2097, followed by the rise of massively popular, comfortable, luxury leather chairs on which to recline and relax in, in the year 2098.

I agree with your prediction, but would subtract 60 years from your timeline.
posted by fairmettle at 2:43 AM on February 11, 2010


I'm not sure what to think about the idea that our attention will be pulled in so many different directions we will need to look-up and use step-by-step instructions for making a cup of tea.

I notice you are in North America. You need those instructions.
posted by vbfg at 3:01 AM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


When he views his social network, there aren't any ads. So I can only conclude that all those ads are in the kitchen by choice. WTF.

Also, he didn't need a recipe for tea, that was just to show the feature of the recipe guidance.

And I don't see why you couldn't use this while camping. It seemed to work by visual recognition of objects which works just as well in the woods as anywhere else.
posted by DU at 3:01 AM on February 11, 2010


Much as I hate to piss on his future firework, this kind of thing totally ignores is that there are loads of things that don't really change because they don't need to. My kitchen looks quite nice and modern and the appliances are energy efficient, blah, blah, blah. But in terms of the basics and what they do (fridge, oven, stove, cupboards) most people from the 1960s would recognise it and be able to use it. For the same reason, although it's possible to have an intelligent house, most people are actually cool about turning the lights on and off with a wall switch when they enter a room.

So, yeah, I confidently predict that in 20 years time, there will no heads-up tea recipes or thin film product displays recipes in my kitchen.
posted by rhymer at 3:27 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's some kind of account balance and a rate counter shown at the start (about 10s in) and end of the vid. So, he's either being paid to have the ads in the VR; or, more invidiously, paying to not see them.
And you still have to type in this wonderful future, you'd think there' be some context sensitive AI going on that would divine he was going to make a cup of tea and pop-up the (ad-sponsored) recipe or make suggestions like 'BUY A FUCKING TEAPOT!'.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 3:29 AM on February 11, 2010


rhymer: I think the entire point of the video is that kitchen appliances, cupboards, doors, etc, *won't* change much - the only difference here is that you have a HUD that overlays information on top of them.

For example, I don't think you'd need a new kettle for your HUDs to know it'd take about 1 minute for the water to boil - it could probably work that out for its by knowing the wattage, gauging the amount of water you poured in by sight, etc. Similarly, I don't recall seeing any new thin film displays in that kitchen - it was all overlaid by the HUDs.

For this reason, I find all the 'Homes of the Future!' ideas, in which people buy a new countertop with an embedded LCD display for recipes and whatnot, to be totally unrealistic. How often do people remodel their kitchen? More realistic are people buying multifunction devices to use in their kitchen - such as laptops, or iPads, or HUDs. Like you, I agree that people are not about to change all their appliances.
posted by adrianhon at 3:43 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


When he views his social network, there aren't any ads. So I can only conclude that all those ads are in the kitchen by choice. WTF.

Probably "choice" as in "This efficiency apartment module rents for $3,500/mo without ads, or $995/mo with ads."

This is the sort of future vision that rational people run screaming from, and marketing departments soil their pants in glee over.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:46 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Probably "choice" as in "This efficiency apartment module rents for $3,500/mo without ads, or $995/mo with ads."

I thought of that, but how would it work exactly? Whether the ads are being beamed out by the apt or not, his device still has to decide to show them. He should download the Build Your Own Ad-free HUD HOWTO. Although since he needs instructions on how to boil water...

But seriously, I want this future. Except for the ads.
posted by DU at 4:20 AM on February 11, 2010


"He should download the Build Your Own Ad-free HUD HOWTO"

He also needs a reminder of when to take a piss, so I wouldn't hold out much hope.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 4:23 AM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know what software he used?

Probably could be done with a superior knowledge of After Effects.
posted by zardoz at 4:23 AM on February 11, 2010


He also needs a reminder of when to take a piss, so I wouldn't hold out much hope.

I took that as a joke plus as an indication of internal sensors which is something that actually would be useful.
posted by DU at 4:27 AM on February 11, 2010


I can't wait to see what the malware of the future looks like!
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:39 AM on February 11, 2010


I'm going to put my money on nanomachines. But if there are internal sensors, then wouldn't that imply that the HUD is an implant rather than the goofy goggle things Gibson wrote about?
Which would make the home HUD upgrade a bit more challenging, I imagine.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 4:40 AM on February 11, 2010


Incidentally, I think the problem with an ad-funded life as shown in this video is exactly the same problem that we have with display ads on the internet - there's so much inventory (i.e. space for ads) on the internet that the rates are practically worthless. If you start papering ads across literally everything you can see, the rates will be even lower, and unfortunately you probably won't get a cheap apartment out of them!

Of course, none of this has stopped display advertising online, but you can see the way this is going through Google and Chrome and the newspaper industry - people really are reacting against the idea that ads can fund everything just because we can put them everywhere.

I appreciate that we aren't supposed to take this video too seriously, but this idea of an endless ocean of ads is remarkably persistent. The best advertising is personalised to you, and it's for products that you actually want or need - that's why Google works so well. HUDs will just extend that into more of your life - you'll walk down a street and as you pass your favourite restaurant, it'll offer you 20% off or something. Or its competitor will offer you 30% off - and Google will take a cut.
posted by adrianhon at 4:41 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


SyntacticSugar: I took the urine thing as a joke as well, but the way this would work is through glasses or contact lenses, wirelessly connected to medical sensors (which really *are* a long way off, because medical devices - particularly internal ones - take forever, and tons of money, to get approved)
posted by adrianhon at 4:43 AM on February 11, 2010


But if there are internal sensors, then wouldn't that imply that the HUD is an implant rather than the goofy goggle things Gibson wrote about?

No, it would not imply that. Wireless comm.

And besides, in the Glorious Future we'll all be biohackers as well, so internal sensors are no problem.
posted by DU at 4:48 AM on February 11, 2010


Well, yeah, I'm aware of the humour and I can see the application (eg real-time monitoring of blood-sugar for diabetics, or pain meds for the desperately ill), but its a hell of a step from a HUD (even a contact lens based one) to some kind of full-body monitoring system.
Which is why I'm holding out for a magical nanonmachine solution.

On preview:
So you'd get all these internal sensors fitted and not go for the upgrade to Zeiss-Ikon eyes?
posted by SyntacticSugar at 4:53 AM on February 11, 2010


Hackers with something to prove are going to love augmented reality.
posted by jeremias at 5:04 AM on February 11, 2010


bruces at the dawn of augmented reality :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 5:38 AM on February 11, 2010


great stuff, only more like RoboConsumer...
posted by ouke at 5:53 AM on February 11, 2010


Maxed liquid waste meter = go pee-pee?
posted by tybeet at 6:02 AM on February 11, 2010


"Of course, none of this has stopped display advertising online....."

Actually, to a certain degree, your description of the economics of ad effectiveness has massively reduced the volume, prevalence and share of online display advertising.

Online advertising as a sector, increases it share and its capital cost year on year BUT most of it is driven by googles adwords - which is your accurate definition of well targeted ads.

"people really are reacting against the idea that ads can fund everything"

Again, your observation is spot on (display is declining), but actually the reaction against plastering display advertising everywhere is from within the advertiser community - they know these ads are not working whereas google paid search does.

The fella in this movie, if we assume that the advertising meter (which he turns off at the start of the clip and on again at the end) is paying him, will have traded his demographic and behavioural data in order for these ads to be targetted effectively to him (and in turn make them profitable placements for the advertiser).
posted by Boslowski at 6:06 AM on February 11, 2010


Shouldn't the kitchen have greyed out first and asked him if he has administrative rights?
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 6:29 AM on February 11, 2010


In the future, you may wish to link to the artist's page. Here it is: Domestic Robocop, by Keiichi Matsuda.

Keiichi is a student at the Bartlett, at UCL. His blog has some interesting writings on designing Archcitecture for Augmented Reality.

This idea of computer-legible landscapes was the starting point for my current project (and will be my final scene in the film), but although it sounds frightening, it could liberate architects to work beyond physical space.

The future architect could be something more akin a set, interface or game designer, our knowledge of structural loading and building regulations replaced with knowledge of programming, philosophy and human behavior. I think this is a great and exciting thing but it requires us to stake out a new territory, somewhat redefine the profession, and importantly: not leave it up to the ‘technologists’.

posted by honest knave at 6:42 AM on February 11, 2010


(If you enjoyed this video, you'd probably really like the excellent and heartbreaking YA novel Feed, by MT Anderson.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:43 AM on February 11, 2010


This is exactly how I don't picture the future being, but I might just be optimistic.

As mefi's own adamgreenfield has said, I see the future as information processing dissolving in behavior. In my view, in an ideal technologically-enhanced world, you'd be cognizant of less technology being present because it will only make itself clear when needed and be such a seamless part of tasks that you'll forget it was ever there.

This stuff strikes me as the Microsoft Office assistant of the future. I keep waiting for the little dog to pop up and ask me if I'm making an omelette.
posted by mikeh at 7:22 AM on February 11, 2010


Seconding Boslowski. Google Ads started the change — small, text ads relevant to context, which had a vastly better clickthrough rate than anything else. Facebook's trying something similar, but wherein the ads are even smaller and more relevant. Similar to The Deck's style of small ads for good products. That's a vision of advertising I can get behind.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:40 AM on February 11, 2010


The best advertising is personalised to you, and it's for products that you actually want or need - that's why Google works so well. HUDs will just extend that into more of your life - you'll walk down a street and as you pass your favourite restaurant, it'll offer you 20% off or something. Or its competitor will offer you 30% off - and Google will take a cut.

This seems logical -- the ads in the video are pointless because there are so many of them and they're so random. (Okay, he's in the kitchen so we'll show an ad for every fast food place ever??) It would make more sense if an add popped up over the kettle: "if you were boiling water with the new kettleX, you'd have been done two minutes ago, and not be late to work! touch here to order."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:47 AM on February 11, 2010


I'm not at all sure advertising works nearly as well as ad people want to think, and I'm pretty sure that's why we get the oversaturation we do.

Take the ongoing cola wars. You can't turn around without finding an ad for Coke or Pepsi, they're everywhere. But does it really matter? Most people who drink that kind of stuff have a very definite preference for one or the other. No one ever walks down the street thinking "hmm, should I have Coke, or Pepsi? I just can't decide", sees an ad for one or the other, and buys it on the basis of the ad.

Were I the CEO of Coke or Pepsi I'd cut the ad budget in half for a given area and see what sales look like there after a month. I'm betting they'd be exactly the same.

Advertising, I think can be divided into two categories: informational and reflexive.

Reflexive advertising, the idea that somehow just getting your product/brand/whatever out there in front of people's eyeballs will result in sales seems rather foolish. I'm 35 years old. I know that Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John's exist. I've eaten at all three chains, I know what their food tastes like. An ad that says "Eat a Pizza Hut pizza, they're great!" isn't going to influence me.

Informational advertising, such as the recent ads that said "hey, we're Domino's pizza and we decided to make our pizza less crappy, we added more garlic and a bit of red pepper to the sauce" will influence me because it changes the status quo. I bought a Domino's pizza, for the first time in almost a decade, based on that ad campaign. It wasn't all that bad either.

Reflexive advertising, such as almost all of what was shown in that video, seems like a waste of money to me. Yay, a KFC logo plastered on my wall. That isn't going to make me want to eat at KFC. I've eaten there, I know what it tastes like, and I know that I prefer Popeye's. Unless it presents information that changes the status quo the ad is, at absolute best, going to catch my eye for a moment and then I'll forget about it.

I've got this suspicion that the ad industry is perfectly aware of the fact that the majority of their product is overpriced and ineffective. I think that's why they get so desperate to plaster ads everywhere, it seems like a panicked hope that somehow if they fling enough out some will stick and give a sales boost to their clients.

Right now all reflexive advertising does is annoy me if it moves or otherwise distracts me. If it isn't moving and distracting I tend to ignore it, and I doubt I'm alone or even in the minority.

I have the suspicion that the ad industry is due a massive collapse soon as corporate America realizes that reflexive advertising is basically a giant waste of money.
posted by sotonohito at 7:58 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


What, no toothpick instructions?
posted by entropicamericana at 8:23 AM on February 11, 2010


Yeah this is pretty much what I imagine the future will be. Gibson hit it right on the head when the super-rich, super-wealthy can afford bare white walls and hand-made woven baskets and silence.
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 AM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


or like rainbows end... it also reminded me of ben edwards' paintings, which i've recently come across :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 8:53 AM on February 11, 2010


This rules and it is the completely inevitable future and I love it regardless of capitalism and also this is my 420th comment on metafilter fuck bush
posted by Damn That Television at 11:15 AM on February 11, 2010


Sotonohito, I think you're missing how what you're calling reflexive advertising works. Sure, if you sit down and think about what kind of pizza you'd like to order, you'll choose whatever you've determined is the best. But what about when a group of people, absorbed in doing something else, needs to order a few pizzas? Or any other situation where you make a choice without thinking about it too much?

That's where they get you: by being the first thing that pops into your head. Advertising doesn't have to make you love a product, it just has to make it occur to you at the right time.
posted by echo target at 1:18 PM on February 11, 2010


echo target Yeah, but I still don't see reflexive advertising working in that situation either. People are creatures of habit. I've ordered pizza from Pizza Hut for years and specifically because a while back their online ordering system worked when no one else's did and I just stopped even paying attention to the other places. When I go to order a pizza without thinking about it I go with my habitual pizza place. It isn't because I think Pizza Hut makes particularly great pizza, because I've got brand loyalty to Pizza Hut, or anything reasonable, it's just habit.

When I buy bread in the grocery store I don't give it any thought, I just grab the brand I've used for going on two decades now (and ate before that because it's the brand my parents bought, and I'm sure that's why I buy it). All the reflexive advertising from competing brands doesn't matter in the slightest. Informational ads might change my behavior (ie: a sale, the introduction of superbread or whatever). I don't have any sort of loyalty to my bread brand, it doesn't even taste super great, but it's what I've bought (mainly because it was and remains cheap), and I've gotten into the habit of buying it. Nine times out of ten I don't even look at the price on the other brands, I just grab my brand and move on.

For stuff I don't habitually buy I suppose reflexive advertising may help one company or another, but odds are good that if I'm not buying habitually I just go for whatever is cheapest. And how often do people make non-habitual purchases, most of the reflexive advertising I see is for products that are habitual (soda brands, coffee brands, fast food, etc)

I could be unique, or at least in a very small minority, but I doubt it. I suspect most people buy based out of habit if they don't have actual preferences, and if it isn't something they have either a habit or a preference for they go for price, presentation, and ease of availability (middle shelf, eye level).
posted by sotonohito at 2:34 PM on February 11, 2010


adrianhon the only difference here is that you have a HUD that overlays information on top of them.

That was kind of my point. I very much doubt I will have one of those. The thing about a lot of this kind of home intelligence stuff is that it's mostly just technology for technology's sake. Some people might like to control their lights and heating via their iPhone or have a house where the lights follow you round and the fridge orders milk or whatever. Me, I just turn stuff off when I leave and buy my milk from a shop five minutes away. I genuinely don't think these things add much to my life. If you look at the take up of this kind of high-tech house gadetry I think most people are in this camp. It's not a case of being a Luddite or hating technology, more a case of not buying pointless fiddly clutter I won't use.
posted by rhymer at 3:10 PM on February 11, 2010


rhymer: If all a HUD did is tell me how to make a cup of tea, turn off the lights, and display advertising, I wouldn't buy one either. But the ability to view information 'hands-free' and overlaid on top of the world will have applications that go far beyond that, from new types of communication and video conferencing, to education, entertainment, and ultimately to the consolidation of all other mobile devices - who needs an iPhone or a newspaper or a laptop when you can see any information anywhere?
posted by adrianhon at 4:21 PM on February 11, 2010


I can't wait to see what the malware of the future looks like!

There was a throwaway reference to a character in Diamond Age (I think) who got malware popup advertising in his visual implant, and was eventually driven to suicide.
posted by hattifattener at 1:05 AM on February 12, 2010


Nine times out of ten I don't even look at the price on the other brands, I just grab my brand and move on.

Sorry Sotonohito but this statement indicates that you are probably bang in the middle of the zone of people who are affected by advertising and make it a worthwhile practice for many many brands. Contrary to what a lot of people believe the advertising industry is very good at working out what works and what does not work. One thing that works very well for brands is getting individuals to make an emotional connection to their product (or range of products, or brand) so that when faced with the buying decision the consumer acts on autopilot just as you have described above.

I don't have any sort of loyalty to my bread brand


Yet you don't, ever, apparently, consider the other brands.

I just grab my brand and move on and the marketeer justifies his salary.

I know you don't think you have been affected but the the chances are you probably have been.

There are a number of things the industry knows work well because apart from econometric modelling (which can and does deduce the drivers of purchase) many many brands have done exactly as you suggested and halfed budgets or in fact completely stopped spending to see what happens. Guess what. Sales fall. They do. I'm not making this up. I have no desire to tell you that humanity en masse is stupid enough to make this kind of advertising effective but the truth is that advertising can and does drive brand preference. Usually through the sheer weight of exposure. Did you know that the traditional father Christmas is only garbed in red because Coca Cola decided to hijack the emotional intent of Christmas ?

The whole imagery of Father Christmas is driven by advertising - and the vast majority of people who buy into that imagery wouldn't have a clue.

price, presentation, and ease of availability (middle shelf, eye level)


Again I have to tell you that it is no accident that the products that appear at eye level in the main supermarkets will also be the brands that are being heavily advertised at the same time. When Coca cola spends £2m on a TV campaign over a 3 week period they will have told the retail brands and they in turn will optimise the shelving layout. It all has an effect and that effect is more valuable when everything works together.

Now. Clearly a lot of advertising doesn't work. But that is because in most circumstances it is an adversarial game, there are almost always winners and losers. The brands are fighting for comsumers and there is a finite number of them.

Its not the only way to run and build a business but executed well as part of an organisation that does most of the other things well, as well, it will be a positive contributor.
posted by Boslowski at 6:33 AM on February 12, 2010


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