Feature Opinion

You People Just Don’t Understand! Google Glass isn’t what you make it out to be

google glass

Google made the next big thing. The next revolution in bringing technology to human lifestyle. And you people just don’t understand. You just keep up your out-of-the-blue ramblings about this next-gen piece of technology. You talk about it like it’s a threat, and like there aren’t other threats out there. It does obviously piss off some of the biggest brains behind this project. And therefore, the team has spoken up, quite politely, in an effort to make you understand.

If up until now you still have no clue what it is I’m talking about, let me fill you in: It’s Google Glass.

As you are probably well aware by now, Google Glass is receiving a lot of heated criticism from all sorts of people. The most critical of them being the end of privacy. The idea of having a screen in front of your face may sound awkward, but I have to admit that Google has done it pretty conveniently. The design is great and it works almost how it’s supposed to.

But the criticisms, or myths — as Google Glass team is polite enough to call, revolve around Google Glass no matter what. And Google Glass team has debunked 10 most popular myths regarding Google Glass on its Google+ page. I’m just gonna write them in a different way here, but you can always check out the source link at the end of this post.

Fact 1: Google Glass is less distracting from real life

In fact, your phone distracts more.

My everyday life is distracted by how constantly I’m prompted to check my mobile phone for new notifications. Sometimes I check my phone for notifications — like I want to keep my eyes on the phone before a notification arrives! I can bet there are others who do the same. This goes the other way round, too. When I’m enjoying a nice sunset or having a great chitchat with my friends, if my phone beeps up, I feel uncomfortable until I’ve checked what it is and, in case of texts, who it was.

I’m sure a lot of you can relate to that scenario, too.

Google says, and I believe them without using Glass for myself, that Glass doesn’t need you to take your vision away from the real world in order to check for what’s new. It shows up on its tiny display and you may or may not see that notification just for a fraction of seconds. No need to take out the smartphone from your pocket or look down at your smartwatch.

It’s not to say that Google Glass isn’t distracting; but your phone and — if you have them, Smartwatches — are already distracting you from real life. Google Glass is indeed less distracting than what you already have in your pocket or wrist.

Fact 2: Google Glass can’t always record

Because its battery capacity won’t allow it to.

Google Glass team says that Google Glass’ battery allows it to record for 45 minutes. And traditionally each video it records lasts only 10 seconds. That is unless the owner goes ahead to change the settings to record videos straight.

That’s a nice reminder that Google Glass isn’t, or cannot be, an always-on recording device. So if someone with their Glassware on is walking past you, you have no reason to confront them whether or not they were recording you.

Fact 3: Those who wear Glass are not aliens

In truth, we all are.

By aliens, we’re referring to them as being people who are unacceptably obsessed with technology. So much that they don’t mind putting a screen in front of their eyes. Thing is, if it’s more efficient (read: if it helps minimize how often you have to look down to your phone), then why not?

google glass prototype
This is what Google Glass looked like when it was first made.

The keyword here is efficient. The idea seems awkward, so does the very first prototype. But Google Glass is a wearable technology that’s designed perfectly. And like I wrote in the first fact, it minimizes how often you need to take your eyes away from the real world around you. Now if you think of looking at the Glass screen all the time, then just go out and meet those people who are always looking down at their iPhones or Galaxy S4s. Trust me, you’ll find plenty of them in the streets and subways.

Fact 4: This isn’t what Google Glass will forever look like

Remember the phones from the 80s?

A lot of people (yourself included?) make the mistake of thinking this is what Google Glass will look like when it hits the streets. While in my opinion Google Glass looks fashionable enough to go on sale with how they look right now, things may change. Do remember these Glasses are still prototype products. The Explorer program just allowed people from all walks of life to use the device and provide their feedback on this.

Google Glass team recognizes those people and states that a lot of physical (design-oriented) and software-centric changes have been made based on the feedback from these people. So, if Google Glass looks awkward to you (still?) right now, just hold your breath. The production units may not look similar. Also comfort yourself looking at the two pictures above and seeing how better Google Glass has gotten over a short period of time and how smarter it can get in the future.

Fact 5: Anyone with a Google Glass can’t face-rec you

Future still remains at future, for now.

It’s not like Google Glass can’t run a facial recognition, but Google is careful enough about Glass’ privacy concerns and has banned all Glassware (apps for Google Glass) from using any sort of facial recognition technology. Google Glass assures that all of approved Glass apps are handpicked and carefully approved by Google. So there isn’t a chance that a Google Glass app that can run facial recognition on the go will be on Glass’ app store.

Fact 6: Wearing Google Glass, you can still see the world

It’s a wear, not a patch.

google glass

A common misconception about Google Glass is that it blocks your vision. Every time I hear that it makes me laugh. Why do you think it won’t come to Google’s mind if it came to yours? Google certainly made sure that Glass won’t block your vision. Google has designed it nicely to put it on top right of your right eye. Yes, a small, very small portion of your peripheral vision which I think isn’t a big problem. It’s anything but blocking the vision. And the screen is small enough to be not distracting while you’re not using it.

The best advice is to check it out (when it’s available for purchase) before you conclude that you don’t like it because it’ll block your vision. And if you’re not going to buy or try it, then it’s probably best idea to at least not spread the wrong idea among the people in your circle. You do know what I mean, don’t you?

Fact 7: Glass isn’t the only thing that can keep an eye on you

Surveillance you say? Think GoPro.

It’s funny when people say that Glass can be a perfect surveillance device. I mean, come on! If anyone wants to keep a hidden eye on you, they might as well hide that ‘eye’ from you. Don’t you think Google Glass, with its camera very visible to everyone around — including you — is too exposed to be a surveillance camera? If anyone wanted to record you without you knowing, putting a spy cam or a Go Pro under their shirt sounds like a more realistic way to go.

Fact 8: Banning Glass?

I’ll just quote Google Glass team from Google+ page here.

Since cell phones came onto the scene, folks have been pretty good at creating etiquette and the requisite (and often necessary) bans around where someone can record (locker rooms, casino floors, etc.). Since Glass functionality mirrors the cell phones (“down to the screen being off by default), the same rules apply. Just bear in mind, would-be banners: 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.

Fact 9: This isn’t the end of privacy

If it was, privacy has been long dead since cameras were introduced.

Google reminds us of privacy concerns that were raised when cameras were first introduced. It was banned almost everywhere. But look around your world now. There are more cameras than ever. And as Google puts it, “with or without Google Glass”, the number of cameras around you will continue to rise. Just because there’s a one new type of camera giving it a new perspective is introduced does not mean it’s the end of privacy as we know it. If it is, it has been dead ever since first camera was publicly available for purchase.

That is not to say all people concerned with the Glass are stupid. Glass introduces a new type of gadget; much like the iPad did. People made fun of iPad, and then it became mainstream. Whether Google Glass will become a mainstream device remains to be seen as the device is still under heavy development. But it’s for sure that all the privacy concerns and myths regarding this will go away in a few years. But before that happens, you need to stop believing in concerns and start knowing the facts.

What’s your take on Google Glass?

Source: Google Glass on Google+.

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