I doubt this would count as a legal document, but I think there might be a way for people to actually have their at-home-desktop functionality while walking down the street.

Who has heard of Augmented Reality?  If you haven’t, check out this Google Search.  For the rest of this post, I’ll be referencing Augmented Reality as AR.

Now that you know what I am talking about, I may think there is a possible way to bring computers to the street.  And I’m not talking about using netbooks or even lugging around a travel computer.  Or even wearing your computer (I’m not kidding there).

I’m suggesting that someone (or probably I) should create some sort of AR-based global network.  Each client could be a special pair of glasses (or clip-ons, for those that use glasses to correct our eyesight) paired with an individual.  Granted, that’ll start creating sayings like, “Gotta charge my glasses,” but still, that’s almost expected.  And if a global network seems implausible, then what’s a cell phone network based on?

Each pair of glasses would have a sort of film on it that would act as a monitor.  They are clear, so we can still see in front of us, but they also have micro-LED’s that creates light so we can see the superimposed AR objects too.  They would have a microprocessor to interpret the user’s actions, and also an antenna to communicate with an AR node.  They won’t have a full-blown full size processor, or a solid state drive, because the nodes would handle all processing and storage.

There would be two main interfacing objects – our hands and a Start Menu / Apple Dock-like AR wristband – and windows that contain most (if not all) of the data.  Our hands would be primarily used to control the objects, like the wristband or a window.  The wristband could be used to create a new window, and list all the pocketed windows you have (“pocketed” would be the equivalent of “minimized”).  To make things less weird, the interfaces would be seen by everybody with the system.  Say goodbye to privacy in public (not that it would have existed anyway).

Windows would be the main portion of this system.  They would house all of the data, and we could interact with it as if it were a real object.  To save space, people could “bannerize” it (compress the window to be only the size of the title bar).  They could resize it as if it were putty.  They could nail it on a wall (using AR nails, of course).  They could give it to a friend.  They could lose it under their bed.  They could accidentally throw it away.  They could break them (which would be the same as closing the window.  They could clutter a person’s room with them.  They watch it be susceptible to simulated gravity.  They could shove it in their pocket.  They could steal them (introduction of computer anti-theft?).  They could throw them.  You get the picture.

Of course, people could back me up when I say that Microsoft’s windows have a few basic properties: size, position, contents, state, and parent program.  AR windows would be close: position would be latitude, longitude, altitude, velocity vector, and orientation (As in, upside down or on its side or even dangled by a corner.), but all other aspects would be essentially the same.

Then comes viruses.  What happens when somebody introduces a virus into the system?  They wouldn’t infect an individual’s glasses, but rather an AR node.  While it may not happen in the first year or two, virus sources could be easily traced as to who put them in the system.  Each pair of glasses would be uniquely identified, and are paired with a certain person.  It will take a harmless DNA sample from the hair, skin, or whatever else is available to make sure it is on their owner’s face, then activate.  If it realizes that it isn’t on their owner’s face, they fail to function.  As each pair of glasses belongs to a person, the AR node would notify local police, possibly give directions as to the whereabouts of the source, and get the source arrested.  It would also restore from an earlier backup stored on a nearby node, if it couldn’t recover on it’s own.

While it’s obvious that when somebody’s watching the windows, they would act like normal.  But if nobody’s watching them, what happens to the windows?  Granted, I’m making up this stuff on the fly, but what could happen is that they just don’t move.  They are in a suspended state until someone sees them again.  The only way to have a window drop from a skyscraper window is to watch it fall the entire way down.  If you got it large enough, it could scare somebody.  If you idly throw a window out the window, it leaves the glasses’s field of vision, thereby it enters a state of suspension until you look that way, or somebody idly looks up.  Only one person needs to see the window in order for it to be active.

For a great prank, you could stack a number of windows on top of a door frame, and look away to suspend them.  As they enter (wearing their glasses) you look over and the entire stack comes out of suspension and drops down on your guest.  Add a scary picture to the windows to increase level of fun.

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