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Google Glass Becomes a Spectacle

Major technology divisions have shifted their gears to produce hot, new wearable computing technology (“or wearables”) from watches to armbands. It is no surprise that Google is contributing to the movement. With their innovative technology-equipped glasses known as Google Glass, the product has many wondering if adding a sleek design and savvy technological features to the optical lenses we once despised oh so much will encourage people to buy into Google’s vision.

Most of us opted out of wearing dorky glasses in our adolescent years. So why would we want to bring them back? Google glass offers hands-free features that allow users to retrieve email information, access web browsers and utilize camera capabilities via a small screen fitted to the upper right hand section of glasses frames.

However, these futuristic spectacles gained my attention not because of their inventive idea, but rather the dangers that it could pose. Google Glass videos and testimonials left me wondering how a clumsy person like me would handle this little distraction. While Google flaunts talented Google Glass-users flying on trapeze and snowboarding down mountains with the device, I envision myself adjusting to the glasses a bit differently by recklessly running into walls or tripping over things.

Look, Ma! No Hands!

More importantly, because the glasses may create diversions in our peripherals and not all of us are professional multi-taskers, running into things or getting into accidents are very real options. Although this technology may be hands-free, it is certainly not distraction or interruption-free. As a response to this concern, legal issues have already arisen over the potential use of Google Glass while driving.

We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues,

Courtney Hohne

According to Sean Hollister, though the navigation system seems sleek, the screen is difficult to see in the sunlight. For drivers, this presents the temptation of tilting your head up towards the ceiling or covering the back of the lens to increase visibility of the screen… not the road. On the other hand, recent tester of the device, Ben Parr with CNET claims that if used properly, Google Glass may actually be a safer alternative to cellphone use in cars since it is completely hands-free.

Overall, the effect of the implementation of Google Glass on driving ability is dependent on the users level of discipline while wearing the glasses. Images and information do not show up on Google Glass until you instruct the device to do so by telling the device “Okay, Glass…” to initiate a command. In other words, Google Glass can be as much or as little distracting as you permit.

star trek glasses

Google Glass: Get Your Creep On

Nevertheless, this does not guarantee that others might accept both the look and accessibility of Google Glasses. Although I have never been in the same room as anyone wearing these star-trek-looking glasses, I would have to predict that I would be wondering if they were filming or taking pictures without me knowing, or if they were even listening to me.

Google Glass opens doors for a new era of hackers and creepers who can film virtually anything they wish through the bifocals. Hackers can easily stand by to capture password data and personal information. While this already exists as a possibility with cellphones today, Google Glass permits these actions to be done more inconspicuously.

Should You Pass on the Glass?

Despite the current safety and security concerns of Google Glass, you’ve gotta admit they’re pretty neat. With voice-directed functions such as capturing images and videos or sending emails, this device sure does take hands-free to a whole new level! Almost as high as its current price tag of $1500.

But if you’re on the fence about this pricey eyewear, fear not. Experts are continuing to work out the kinks in Google Glass and the product will not be released to the market for several months. Will Google strike gold with Glass?

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