No one here disagrees that the Google Glasses, Project Glass as its known, is a pretty amazing advancement in technology. Though some among us are more excited than others and because of that we figured we’d tackle the issue here. So what do you think? Are you already lining up outside Google HQ to get your hands on a pair or do you have your reservations?
Dave Eisenberg’s take
Please don’t call me a luddite for what I’m about to say.
Google Glasses are weird.
I’m not saying they’re bad. They’re not. They’re quite cool and probably very helpful. But they’re weird.
The idea that we’re overly obsessed with technology is nothing new and few people disagree that every now and then, it’s nice to unplug. The Google Glasses won’t change any of that. They just seem like a fairly big leap toward integrated isolation. By that I mean that we’ll still coexist out in the world, but there will now be even less reason to interact with one another. As Kit Eaton of Fast Company pointed out, people were once shocked by cell phones, which have since become ubiquitous in our society.
The difference is with a cell phone, “you ultimately click the screen off and slide it back into a purse or pocket.” The article adds, “With Glass, it’s all there right in front of you, whenever you’re sporting the specs.”
Then take the specs off. Simple. I just wonder if the convenience of having the world at the bridge of your nose will make you soon prefer it.
Not to mention, advertisement is already pretty inescapable in this world. Project Glass could and likely will create a world where promotion is as much a part of the world around us as the trees. We’re tracked online so that pretty much no matter what website we wind up on, an ad might appear on the side for something we might well be interested in, but the manner by which it got there was shady. Now picture that but in reality.
I guess I think of it this way: Cyberspace and reality are two circles that overlap, creating somewhat of a venn diagram. As time goes, these circles are merging more and more. I just wonder if eventually having one circle would be a good thing.
But maybe I’m just a luddite.
Walt Frick’s Take
There’s more to most things than meets the eye, and that’s why Google’s glasses are going to be so amazing. Anywhere you are, add history, add context, filter an experience based on your social network.
Looking for a restaurant? Yelp reviews in your field of vision. Trying to eat healthy? Nutritional info overlaid on a supermarket aisle. Don’t even get me going on how great they’ll be for directions. Imagine going to an art museum wearing the glasses and having all the info about the paintings in your line of sight.
I don’t imagine this as a distraction as much as an augmentation. It’s about being in the moment, and having at hand the information that will make that moment all the better. And, frankly, one of the most distracting parts of current phone habits is constantly pulling them out of your pocket to see what you’ve missed.
Now, Dave, I’m not calling you a luddite. But I know older folks who refuse to get reading glasses because they don’t like change. We already use technology to help us see better. And that’s just what Google is trying to do.
While you mull all that over and decide who to side with, re-watch the video preview of some of the specs of the glasses: