Recently I have been using my Google Glasses for everything from traveling with Glass to keeping updated on the top news stories through my Glassware and without a doubt I am finding them invaluable. As with all new technology, there’s a lot of good and bad speculation about what Google Glass will and will not do. There are actually a lot more than ten myths about Google Glass to demystify, but Google recently responded to ten of the most common ones. They are:
Google Glass distracts from real life. Firstly, Glass is wearable technology, which always has the potential to distract both wearers and observers, but people get used to odd-looking tech devices pretty quickly. Bluetooth earpieces drew some stares when they first hit the market, but now seem completely normal. More importantly, while having a computer constantly in front of your face could be distracting, so is constantly using a smartphone or tablet—and Glass allows users to keep their eyes focused on the world in front of them, not on a screen in their hands .
Google Glass records everything. No, it doesn’t. Like a cell phone video camera, Glass’ recording function is only on when the user turns it on by voice command or pressing a button—and a clearly visible light shows when the record function is activated. Also like a cell phone, Glass’ battery could never support constant recording without similarly constant recharging.
Glass users are nerds who worship technology. Google has a great answer for this about the diversity of Glass users and how it actually helps them rely less on technology, which can be found in the link at the end of this article. But there’s another argument worth considering here: even if many Glass users are tech nerds, aren’t the people most passionate about new technology the ones you want testing and giving feedback on a developing tech product? That seems like a great way to make the product the best it can be. Just to be fair, I am a gadget geek...
Which brings us to the next myth: Glass is finished developing and available as a consumer product. Well, not yet. As of now, it is a prototype going through rigorous testing by both Google and the public. Essentially, Google is giving the public the opportunity to buy and use Glass in limited numbers in order to give feedback on it—feedback which has already fueled multiple upgrades.
Glass includes facial recognition software and/or other tech that violates privacy. No. Google is vetting all Glass apps very carefully to ensure privacy is respected and maintained, and as such Glass has no facial recognition software.
Glass turns a computer into an eyepatch (i.e., it obstructs vision). Nope. Glass’ screen rests just above the right eye, not in front of it. As noted above, part of the goal of Glass is to step away from the model of looking down at a screen instead of out at the world.
Glass is the next step in covert surveillance. Also false. As noted in myth #2, it is very obvious to observers when Glass is recording. Plus wearing a computer on one’s face isn’t exactly inconspicuous.
Glass is only for rich/privileged people. Full disclosure, Glass currently costs $1500. That’s not cheap. But neither is it out of reach for people who really want it—consider the examples of dedicated gamers who save to buy or build high-end computer systems costing $3000 or more. It takes time and discipline, but they make it happen. Also, if Google Glass is applicable and beneficial to a job, then maybe the job can pay for it. And they have a great charity program for Glass if you are a 501c3.
Finally, two myths that correlate with each other: Glass is banned everywhere and Glass marks the end of privacy. Banning Glass in certain locations makes sense, for the same reason it makes sense to keep cell phones out of locker rooms. But Glass is not banned everywhere, even where it may not allowed to record. Similarly, there have been arguments about the end of privacy since the first cameras were invented. Same with video cameras, digital cameras, cell phone cameras, and webcams. Privacy still exists. Google Glass will not change that.
You can read Google’s original response post here: https://plus.google.com/+GoogleGlass/posts/axcPPGjVFrb