Google Glass has become the first popular head-mounted display in the market. If smart glasses are to take off, in part it’s thanks to Google Glass. But there is a problem beyond code and technology that all pioneers have to face – social acceptance.
As it stands, Google Glass is currently one of the most feared devices in the market. While a huge portion of the population sees them as “cool” or impressive, another huge portion is letting fear get the best of them.
Why are people scared of Google Glass?
There is already the common fear of espionage. Some people believe Google, the government and other entities are spying on them. And to a certain extent, this may be true, but not in the way most portray it.
While it is true companies like Google and Facebook may have excessive information on their users, I am almost sure there is no one at their headquarters going through your love letters. This information is mostly used by equations and computers, in order to find habits and better ways to advertise to you.
Either way, most of us don’t have interesting enough lives for Google or anyone else to really want to spy on us.
Other people may believe Glass users are recording or taking pictures of them, which may make them uncomfortable. To which the same argument applies. Battery life is horrible on Google Glass, do you think Glass users want to use it up getting content of you?
At the end of the day, human beings are naturally scared of the unknown. Most people have little to no knowledge of what Google Glass does, what it is or how it operates. People also rejected smartphones, bluetooth headsets, computers and CDs in their times.
Is Google Glass dangerous?
I attended the court case of Cecilia Abadie vs. California, in San Diego. The case involved a woman who was ticketed for wearing glass while driving. No driver in California is allowed to use a device with a screen when operating a vehicle.
She ended up winning the case because the device was not in operation while she was driving. Does this mean Google Glass is dangerous to use in the road? Sure, it can be… but not really. Google Glass can be a distraction if not used responsibly, just like many other things.
Is looking at a physical map dangerous? How about changing the radio station or using your navigation system? Yes, doing some things excessively and not carefully can be a huge danger. Likewise, Google Glass can be a distraction to those who don’t use it responsibly.
As for blocking your vision and other similar assumptions, that is not really an issue. Google Glass stays off your main area of vision. One must literally look up and to the right in order to see it.
Should Google Glass be banned in some places?
This is a very controversial topic. We have heard stories of bars banning Google Glass, as well as certain bar patrons not fully accepting it. Should such establishments be allowed to ban Google Glass?
In the US, many businesses have the right to deny service to anyone. If they somehow feel threatened, it really is their right to ask you to remove the piece of eyewear. It’s sad for Google Glass users, though. Especially when you know there is no real danger or reason why Glass should be removed.
The latest story regarding these issues is actually related to Cecilia Abadie, as well. She just seems to have bad luck with this stuff, huh? Abadie was asked to remove Glass during a flight with United Airlines. It seems “security concerns” was the main reason.
It’s an odd situation, as I have been in a flight with friends using Google Glass and have never witnessed something like this. Google Glass can do much less than a smartphone, computer or tablet can, yet the use of these devices is allowed.
I believe there is almost never a real reason why Google Glass should be banned, especially in public places. I do understand those who worry about someone recording and other violations of privacy, though.
Fellow blogger Chris Chavez recently shared a very valid point with me – would you walk into an airplane holding a camcorder up, even if it’s not recording? That is actually kind of the feeling Google Glass gives other people.
What do you think?
Ultimately, new technology will most times be accepted in the long run. There is always a level of etiquette that comes with such acceptance, though. How do you envision a future where Google Glass and other wearables are a part of your world? Do you believe Glass will be accepted at all?