Google really, really wants people to wear computers on their faces. If it isn’t begging everyone for lots of money to beta test a despised technology, the search giant is actively scolding its users to stop being cyborg weirdos. Now, Google has released a Ten Commandments for devout Glass followers attempting to debunk the most common myths about the wearable computer. Like, hello, Glass users are not “technology-worshipping geeks.” That myth is seriously up for debate, Google. Let’s dive in anyway.
Despite a number of self-professed Glass evangelists doing the search giant’s dirty work, Google on Thursday said there are a lot of icky myths spreading around. It seems even the most loyal Glass users have been unable to reach the “haters.” Really, though, these ten myths sound like they were meant for someone who has never turned on a computer, or at least someone that’s in no way the technology’s target audience.
For starters, everyone apparently believes Glass “is the ultimate distraction from the real world.” Again, while some Glass users might still be present in the real world, there are others out there completely disconnected from their surroundings. This isn’t exclusive to Glass, sure—smartphones are a good example—but, well, since Glass is always on your face, it pretty much is the ultimate distraction, which is why some states are already banning it in cars. Google argues that Glass allows wearers to better engage with people around them. I guess it can when it’s off. But looking up into a small Glass prism probably just freaks other people out, and easily breaks eye contact—there’s that disconnect—making it easier to get distracted.
Moving on down, Google pretty much acknowledges that Glass is out of reach for the majority of the public, and not everyone is privileged enough to try it out. Current prototypes are $1,500, which is by no means cheap for a product that’s still being beta tested. “We realize this is out of range of many people,” Google says. “But that doesn’t mean the people who have it are wealthy and entitled.” I have yet to see someone wear Glass who fits outside of that description, but supposedly that’s just a myth. “Others have raised money on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. And for some, it’s been a gift.” Now I get it.
There are other fear-mongering myths included on Google’s list, such as Glass’s ability to record, whether it has facial recognition, and if the technology marks the end of privacy. Also, Google has a stern message for “would-be banners.” Google says: “Glass can be attached to prescription lenses, so requiring Glass to be turned off is probably a lot safer than insisting people stumble about blindly in a locker room.” That sounds like a fun game. So is Google suggesting that Glass wearers congregate in locker rooms? Is that where they have meetings?
Even if Glass isn’t “always on,” it still makes others feel uneasy because of its surreptitious recording capabilities. If I walked around a locker room with my phone out pretending I was recording (but wasn’t), people would still feel uncomfortable. Yeah, Glass has a visual indicator so you can tell when it takes a picture or records a video, but the concerns aren’t unfounded. Certainly, this actually is one of the better surveillance devices (especially attached to prescription lenses), despite Google calling it a myth.
You can check out Google’s entire list at the source link below. “The next time you’re on the subway, or sitting on a bench, or in a coffee shop, just look at the people around you. You might be surprised at what you see.” I can’t wait for the future.