Lately I’ve been reading a lot about the upcoming “Google Glass”. First of all, I’m going to talk a bit about smart phones. I never really caught on to the smart phone revolution mainly because I don’t see a point in it, and as of right now my life doesn’t dictate that I need one. When I have changes in my lifestyle my views on smartphones will undoubtedly change. Mainly, I just don’t leave being in front of a PC or laptop very often.
I do still carry my smartphone sometimes to connect to WiFi hotspots but there is no cellular service on it nor is there 3G. I tried it for 2 years and I did not really care for it, mainly because I thought it was taking away from me interacting with humans face to face. Google Glass aims to solve this issue by you still looking at other humans while you use your internet connected device.
So Google glass has some limited abilities compared to a smart phone, taking pictures, video, and limited web browsers. I’m not 100% on all the details of how the thing will actually work since I did not get an “Explorer” version, but my guess is that it will be looked at as a “toy” version of augmented reality in the coming years.
I wear glasses 24/7 to correct high myopia, so I’d have to get contacts to be able to use Google Glass until they rolled out prescription frames that also come with Google Glass. There’s no telling if wearing contacts and using Google glass will cause issues.
Steve Mann has made some comments on Google Glass and how it has some issues. I don’t think that these issues really apply that much because it seems like a casual version of augmented reality. His arguments are that Google Glass will cause eye strain – which is probably true. The “screen” is not directly in front of you so you have to actually move your eyes to look at it. If you’re doing that all the time there’s no doubt you’re going to run into eye strain issues. However, I see this as more of a casual device so these issues may not be as apparent.
Some people are concerned if this thing catches on that people will lose their privacy. Well, I really don’t think anyone has privacy as it is in the world today. There’s cameras everywhere and people taking pictures with smart phones all over the place. I’m sure the Amish will hate this thing, but the truth is even the Amish are being recorded and their pictures taken all the time as it is today.
I don’t see any significant change here just because people have a video recorder/picture taker on their face. Just consider yourself in the public eye when you walk out your front door. That’s just the way things are now.
So I come to my point – I will not be getting Google Glass mainly because it is bound to have issues being the first version of augmented reality released to the public. Do I like the idea? YES. I love the idea – and I think that later versions will be quite awesome and something worth buying. As of now, though, I’m not interested. We shall see if my views change when it is actually released to the public.