As a kid, I did everything I could to avoid having to wear glasses. Now it seems like a lot of people are eager to shell out $1,500 for the privilege of wearing glasses. Not just any old pair of glasses, mind you, but specifically Google’s new wearable connected device Google Glass.
As Google Glass moves closer to commercialization, two camps are forming: those who embrace the new wearable technology and those who fear what irresponsible people might to do with it.
The pro-Glass camp envisions relevant information being delivered directly to their faces—allowing them to see the world in a Terminator-like fashion. No more having to take their smartphones out and type queries on the screen—so old school. I understand the enthusiasm, though, as this type of connected accessory will inevitably allow us to experience technology like never before.
The Glass haters are worried that some people will abuse the features of Google Glass, such as taking photos and video of people and then posting the content online without the permission of those captured. What’s the problem, people do it all the time with mobile phones, right? The thing with Google Glass is that the camera lens is integrated, making picture-taking much more discrete than holding up a phone. Most wouldn’t know they are being filmed by someone with Google Glass.
It’s both scary and beautiful to ponder what people could do with Google Glass. The company hopes to regulate its development and step in when it is used for ill (or when people are being Glassholes). Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt went as far as to ask “Explorers” (those who won the right to be early adopters) to be responsible.
Obviously, this guy proposing to his girlfriend didn’t get the responsibility memo. Jump to the 20-second mark and you’ll remember why we close our eyes when we kiss other people. All kidding aside, I believe in the technology. I also appreciate the scenario Thad Starner mentioned in his interview with the MIT Technology Review: “Imagine that as you’re, say, writing up this article, as you’re typing along, it pulls up articles from your past, or notes from your past, that might be relevant to what you’re currently typing. Having something that’s continually watching what you’re typing that will help pull up your past memories is really surprisingly powerful.”
Along with the Glass lovers and haters there’s a third party emerging: the satirists. And none sum it up better than the folks at SNL.