SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Huddled in the bowels of a nondescript convention center are a few hundred men and women whose vision of the sci-fi future makes Google Glass look like Mr. Peanut's monocle.
Welcome to the Augmented World Expo, a 4-year-old annual affair whose buzz has gotten a boost from Google's mainstream glasses, even though for these 1,100 registrants -- up 40% over last year -- that creation is a mere baby step toward our inevitable 4-D existence, meaning the overlay of a projected but fully interactive fourth dimension over our natural 3-D world.
"Google Glass is a third eye off to the side, but what's coming is a generation of glasses whose information becomes immersed in your reality," says Steve Mann, who walked around AWE, which wraps today, wearing homemade spectacles that screamed metal-shop meets cyborg. "A camera, a microprocessor and a display, those are the elements that will come together in the new generation of glasses."
Does he ever take his off?
"No," he says. "Except in the shower."