I just received an email with a video attachment from a friend who shall remain nameless. In this email, my pal asked if I thought the associated video reflected a real-world product. Well, I must admit to being rather excited at first, but then I found a subtle clue right at the end when the words “Concept Video” appeared on the screen.

I immediately donned my sad face, but I must admit that I was intrigued, so I had a quick Google while no one was looking and found this video on YouTube.


What we are talking about is what purports to be a wrist band that can project the image of a graphical user interface (GUI) onto your arm and detect your interfacing with this image. This little scamp presents all sorts of possible usage models, including accessing the latest news stories while relaxing in a bath, checking maps while on the go, and lots of other scenarios that make you think, “Oooh, Shiny!”

As soon as I saw this video, I was reminded of one of my favorite science fiction books, Steel Beach by John Varley. In this tale, our hero, Hildy Johnson, who is a newspaper reporter on the Moon, has a small keyboard integrated into the skin of his forearm (he also has a tiny video camera embedded in one of his eyes but that’s a story for another day).

Sad to relate, my hopes were further dashed when I ran across this video, which was produced by Captain Disillusion.


I then ran across this follow-up video from Captain Disillusion along with this video from EFTMOnline. The bottom line is that this was a scam. While wiping the tears from my eyes, I also ran across another video that shows a rather tasty holographic display concept.


The way I tend to think about this sort of thing is (a) Is there any chance this level of technology will be available in a 1-year time-frame? (almost certainly not, in this case) and (b) is there any chance this level of technology will be available in 100 years’ time? (almost certainly, in this case). So, now we have our boundary conditions, all we have to do is sit back and wait for the future to arrive.

On the other hand… as I’ve said before and as I will no doubt say again, I think the combination of augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) is going to change the way in which we interact with our systems, the world, and each other. Initially, AR will be provided in the form of headsets or goggles or vizors or some such. As technologies advance, it might be provided by enhanced versions of regular glasses or contact lenses or similar.

The point is that, if we have true high-definition AR coupled with AI, we won’t need bangles or bracelets or watch-type displays — we will be able to simulate exactly the same thing in our augmented worlds.

I’m sorry, I just got distracted by this video by The King of Random showing someone playing a set of Great Scottish Bagpipes filled with helium.


We join this video toward the end at time 11:46 but — after seeing this segment — you may well be tempted to watch the whole thing. All I can say is that watching this has renewed my interest in learning the bagpipes. How about you? Do you have any thoughts you’d care to share on anything you’ve seen here?