Google’s futuristic “augmented reality” project — Glass — is getting people interested world over, but I believe that the project could do more harm than good — to our privacy and to our sanity in general.
It’s one thing to get excited about a technology that you always wished was real and another to actually use it on a daily basis. With Project Glass ready to hit the stores sometimes by the end of this year, the question that the Internet is debating is whether Project Glass could be accepted as a mainstream Gadget.
The preview videos that Google has published on Glass website are really “Awesome.” They promise of a future where everything would be connected and sharing stuff with friends and family would become as good as virtual reality. You would be able to chat without having to adjust your phone’s front camera, you’d be able to share important events such as your graduation day, or the first look of your newborn baby, with all your family members.
It all sounds very nice, in theory. In reality, these moments are very rare, they are precious! But rare. I don’t know if you couldn’t do without sharing every moment of your life with friends or on social networking websites. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google needs you to share as much as you can on the Internet. They want us to believe that an open world is a better place to live in, but I think they want all the data so as to come up with a more suitable marketing plan. Both Facebook and Google deliver targeted advertising — the one that is based on your interests — which means that they want us to share our likes and dislikes freely on the web.
I am not a huge fan of spending a lot of time on social networking sites, I don’t even use WhatsApp that much. Maybe it’s because I don’t like indulging in futile chit-chat often. But there are several people I know whose lives are dependent on an instant messaging service — WhatsApp — one benefit of wearing Glass would be that you’d be able to read messages without having to take out your cell phone. This however, could prove to be a disaster if you’re using Glass while driving; texting + driving has been already quite dangerous; using Glass + driving could up the number of road accidents.
Another benefit of Glass — that Google is touting — is the ability to take “hands-free” photos and videos instantly. By just saying, “Okay Glass, take a picture/record a video,” one could capture moments which otherwise couldn’t be treasured. I would like to Glass for this functionality, but this does raise a few privacy concerns. What if somebody is secretly recording you? What if somebody takes your photo without your permission?
We’ve seen social media play “the bad guy” in the past and that too in multiple cases. Even though Glass seems awesome, it won’t be accepted as it is, socially. Google would have to go through a lot of mess before releasing Glass. I can see a sign (in the near future) that says, “Glass not allowed!” in several locations — in movie theatres, in schools, and in private/secretive events.
Let’s just forget privacy issues for one moment. In the preview videos, you can find walking routes, know how to say stuff in different languages, find travel directions, find places to stay and eat — in real-time using Glass, now the question is — won’t that make us even more dependent on technology. We are already using Google and web resources for a lot of stuff which is supposed to be done manually. We have GPS for finding directions, nowadays Smartphones can do that job pretty well and wearing Glass while driving is unsafe as hell. In my view, Glass would take a sweet spot on your desk — as a fancy Gadget — for a large portion of the time it stays with you.
Several people believe that Google could smear your Glass view with its advertising and offers, though I don’t think that would happen. Google is charging $1,500 for a pair of Explorer Glasses; which already makes it one of the most expensive pieces of sh*t out there. I won’t be spending money to buy a pair of Google Glass even if the company decides to sell it for $500. I am happy with my Smartphone and in any case I don’t like the idea of an entirely Open World.
What’s your take on Google’s heads-on display glasses? Leave a comment.