Google Glass is awesome technology – there is no doubt about that;
And wearable computing is probably going to be the next big
thing. So why the “but” in the title then, since I have already
admitted that Glass is awesome? The “but” is that Google Glass is
going to play a big part in making people complacent with being
constantly recorded by the average citizen. Google Glass might not
be the catalyst for this complacency, but Glass is definitely the
first major chip in the mortar.
Consider cell phones; When cell phones first became popular, they
were for placing/receiving calls and texts – nothing more. Now,
cell phones have become a social crutch to a vast majority of the
population. There are people who go through withdrawal when
without their cell phone for a few hours. I cannot
remember the last time that I had a conversation with somebody
during which they did not look at (or fuss with) their cell
phone. We even go so far as to laud this behaviour. Take for
instance the new Facebook Home commercials. These ads are based on
the premise that people want to escape reality into their phones,
at the exspense of meaningful human interaction.
My point here about cell phones is that they started as an
innocent and extremely ambitious idea to help people communicate
better/easier, and now they have become the mechanism by which we
prevent meaningful human interaction.
With Google Glass, I fear that a similar process with take
place. Glass is going to start out as helping many people in many
meaningful ways. But then it is going to turn into something
sinister; If Glass becomes as popular as other Google products, in
a year or two, it will not be unreasonable to have close to half
of the people that you interact with on a regular basis be wearing
Glass. Consider that this means that 50% of the people that you
see throughout the day can record any thing that you do or say,
and you would have no visual clues that you are being
That snide comment about your boss – recorded.
That personal call made from work – recorded.
Speeding in your car, even just a little bit – recorded.
That embarrassing purchase at the store – recorded.
Your morning jog past that creepy guy’s house – recorded.
Your daily routine – recorded.
That extra 15minutes that you where away at lunch – recorded.
With Glass, and the technologies that proceed from it, every
little detail of you existence will be recorded. There is no
question about it. It is safe to assume that there will be at
least one person recording you at any given instant.
This is a terrifying reality; Who needs the stationary telescreens
from “Nineteen Eighty-Four” when there are mobile telescreens
mounted on the faces of a majority of the population?