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 recorded.
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?