May 25, 2013

A Google Glass A Day

On a recent car ride with the family, when everyone in the car but the driver, me, was asleep, I spent a little time letting my mind free associate on recent technology announcements. One that was really floating through my head was how at the most recent Google I/O, there were nearly no Google employees wearing Glass. While that's not a death-knell by any means, it is a concerning trend to me.

That got me thinking… what would it be like to wear Google Glass for a day? I had not yet seem more than renderings of the interface, so when I got home from the trip, I found this very interesting video that someone made of what the interface looks like and how it is to use it in practice.

It looked a lot as I expected it to look. No real surprises, although seeing it really makes the interaction method a bit easier to understand than just hearing it described.

But the camera still makes me wonder. The next video I came across, while nothing more than a parody taken to a laughable extreme, brings up more of my concerns about how it would be to use.

It could get worse though. Imagine for a moment a scenario where you've set up Google Glass to automatically share any photo taken to Google+. You've also got the Winky app installed, which allows you to take a photo merely by closing your eye. You're wearing glass while you're using the restroom. While you're taking care of business, you sneeze and look down. Your eye closes, a pic of your nether regions is suddenly visible to the world.

Oops.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of 'if's in that scenario, but not one that seems so far fetched, given someone has already had a picture take of them wearing Google Glass in the shower (albeit, not taken with Google Glass). Even Larry Page disapproves.

But if only a couple minutes of my free association came up with such a hideous possibility, imagine for a moment what could really happen. Sure, this is a vast abuse of technology, something you can do today with a cell phone camera encased in a ziplock bag. What I think concerns me is that with the cellphone in a baggie, you've got to plan and go to a lot of trouble to really make yourself look foolish, if not disturbed. Google Glass seems to up the ease of abuse by about 1,000. That concerns me.

Will my concerns be unfounded? Possibly. If the device stays at a relatively high price point, only people with lots of disposable income will have the opportunity to make fools of themselves with Google Glass. Everyone else will have to continue to make fools of themselves in other, less advanced, ways. But if the price gets down to under $100, I am scared to think of what we might be in for. If you think YouTube comments are bad, just wait till you see what Glass-posts are like.