An Overview of How Google Glass Works… A Curse or a Blessing?

Kelli Richards / March 18th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 7.49.40 AM I loved Tim Bajaran’s piece on G-Glass – Mine simply expands on some basic facts, adding value for all of us who aren’t following the very Iron-Man creation of this latest Google Project.  We’re losing Google Reader, but gaining hardware. Does anyone else see Apple’s “product” model being adopted here? 

Yes, Alice, we’ve definitely fallen into the looking glass. Google’s most recent project, Google Glass, will delve far into the realm of science fiction, bringing Tony Stark, Iron Man-esque technology to the masses. The Google Glass project delivers a wearable computer system in the form of glasses, offering hands free messaging, photography, and video recording.  Straight out of 007, this offers the ability to share everything you see, live, in real time: directions, reminders, the web – all seen through the lens, right in front of your face.

The glasses have a display in the top right corner of the frame, making endless information available at all times, and will reportedly connect with either your Android or iPhone implementing WiFi, 3g, and 4g coverage. These revolutionary specs won’t just be a piece of spectacular hardware; Google is negotiating with Warby Parker, a company which specializes in the sales of trendy glasses, in an attempt to bring infinite data while still looking fashionable.

The best part of Google’s Project Glass is that Google is currently allowing civilians, not developers, the opportunity to influence product development. Google declared, “We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass.” Applications are being accepted through the use of Google+ and Twitter, through the hashtag #ifihadglass.

While this idea of unlimited data being available even more easily than at your fingertips is revolutionary, it raises more than a few questions regarding privacy. The ability to record everything right in front of you, in real time, is a daunting thought, covering everything from being photographed at a cafe, to making videos in airports. Beyond the questionable “Glass etiquette” that will certainly develop over time, the prospect that Google and the government will be able to access users’ data is shattering.

If the Glass Project brings information right in front of your face, allowing you to communicate, to access the internet, contacts, etc., and share what you are seeing live, what will stop others from accessing your private information? Although a few decades late, Orwell’s 1984 has definitely caught up with us.

The issues that may arise from the mass production of Google Glass are met with equally impressive, revolutionary concepts around social networking and sharing. Glass would be the apex of social sharing, allowing people to be in constant contact, literally letting individuals step into other’s shoes, to view the world from a different point of view. You could be standing in New York’s Time Square and share and trade that experience with someone around the world, exploring the streets of Venice or Sydney, Australia. Such universal sharing would truly redefine the human experience.

At its best, this would also effect topics as broad as human rights and poverty – but the cost remains to be seen. Only time will tell if the Google Glass Project will be the vessel connecting mankind, Pandora’s box, or something in the middle.

Kelli Richards

Kelli Richards is a recognized thought-leader in digital music and entertainment with deep expertise in digital distribution and branded content, as well as working with a plethora of luminaries and innovators. She drove music and entertainment initiatives at Apple for 10 years, and helped to birth a whole new consumer movement around disruptive technologies & emerging business models. As President of The All Access Group, she has worked closely with a wide range of start-ups, Fortune 100 companies, and established artists and industry leaders alike as a sought-after strategic consultant for the past 15 years. www.allaccessgroup.com.
  • Glaurung-Quena

    “While this idea of unlimited data being available even more easily than
    at your fingertips is revolutionary, it raises more than a few questions
    regarding privacy. The ability to record everything right in front of
    you, in real time, is a daunting thought,”

    There’s the rub. Glass is supposed to be integrated into the prescription lenses you already wear. But if Glass catches on, there will probably be people like me who insist that the person I am talking with take off their Glass before we have a conversation. And there will be a whole lot of government and corporate offices (not to mention restaurants and pubs) that decide, for security or privacy reasons, that their policy is to require Glass wearers to put their Glass in their pocket. That goes even more so for theatres, concert halls, galleries, museums, and all the other places that already have policies against photography or filming.

    Basically, if you’re going to strap an always-on camera to your head, you should expect to run into a lot of situations where people are going to complain about that. So you’re going to either need to a) not be able to see properly whenever someone tells you you can’t be wearing a camera here, b) get contacts and not have your glasses integrated with Glass (kind of defeats the point), c) carry a second set of glasses around with you, or d) decide you can live with the horrible inconvenience of looking information up on your cellphone and just not bother getting Glass at all. My bet is that most people are going to go with option D.

    Going back to a post a few days ago that characterized Google as suffering from ADHD, what with all these long-term projects of theirs with little to no clear financial return… Self-driving cars strike me as a very smart long-term investment for Google to make in monetizing Google Maps: everyone can see the incredible life-saving utility of it (not to mention convenience), so if they can perfect it enough that it becomes practical, there will be no shortage of takers. And they will be one of the only companies in the world that can provide the mapping data necessary to make it work. On the other hand, Google Glass strikes me as something that will never actually catch on beyond a tiny cadre of nerds and geeks… but because Google is made up of nerds and geeks, they can’t see that.

  • Rich

    “Orwell’s 1984 has definitely caught up with us.” No. Orwell’s 1984 was an all-controlling government spying on everybody in their homes whether they wanted it or not. Google’s Glass is individual citizens making videos of people in front of them, often in public. If you’re with someone who’s recording you and you don’t want it, you can ask them to take the Glass off and put it away.

    This isn’t new. For years I’ve known that anytime I’m outside my house, someone may take pictures or make videos of me. But it’s not just me…they’ve done the same thing to everybody else. My response is “So?” I’ve never seen how it’s affected my life in any way.

  • def4

    GoPro is fine. Google Glass is not.
    I sincerely hope that the jock culture in the USA will surface and people that try to wear this in the real world get beaten up and their dangerous toys destroyed.

    This is dead serious.

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