Seeing the world through Google-coloured glasses

Yesterday a car did a burn-out in my street. It was noisy and disruptive and smelly and offensive.

I could see the car doing it. I could read the registration number. And I thought: if I was wearing Google Glasses right now, I could record this. And then perhaps pass it onto the police for them to follow up. Or post to YouTube for the audiences who like that type of thing.

I’m excited by Google Glasses.

I love the idea of easily being able to capture and share images and video. This includes sharing imagery with others live.

But I’m also pondering what could go wrong.

If Google Glasses become widely used, there’s potential for a massive impact on our behaviour and in particular the way we interact with each other.

Imagine somebody wearing Google glasses and sharing their experience while they’re:

  • being sanctioned in the workplace
  • in a classroom where a teacher is reprimanding a student
  • witness to a street fight
  • having an argument with their spouse
  • being interviewed for a job
  • at the scene of an accident where a resuscitation is taking place
Mega artistic vision of a Google Glasses future by Prakky

Mega artistic vision of a Google Glasses future by Prakky

If you and I are having an important conversation – even a dispute – and I put on my pair of Google Glasses, how would you react?

Some spaces – schools, workplaces – may ban such devices. But what’s to stop a person walking down a street capturing that image of you littering / jaywalking / falling over/ picking your nose?

Sure. We’re all going to be super well behaved so it won’t matter.

Which raises the question: could Google Glasses’ content be the subject of witness accounts and therefore court proceedings? What does that mean – not just for us but for Google as a company?

Think sexting is a problem now?

Imagine the ease of filming – and live sharing – your girlfriend or boyfriend disrobing, showering, dancing around naked and so on. (Sure, wearing Google glasses may reduce your chances of reaching said intimacy, but hey …)

Do celebrities wish the paparazzi and Twitter and Instagram hadn’t been invented? Just wait until the world’s wearing Google Glasses!

There were complaints when Google Streetview was relatively new, and captured images of some people doing embarrassing things. We seem to have learned to live with Streetview now. (The Google Streetview capture of our house shows one of my son’s putting out the rubbish bins. A rare moment captured for the world). And yes, we already have the technology to be able to share images and video quickly and easily. But we’re talking about glasses here, people! Minimalist-looking glasses which could become ubiquitous and make us think twice about what we do in our everyday lives for fear of being on the world’s stage or having our recorded actions pored over later by others without context.

Don’t get me wrong. I can see that Google Glasses can be used for good rather than evil.

Google Glasses cartoon

Not that I cook .. but, envisioning Google Glasses future at the family dinner table

It’s the same case with social media. We have wonderful supportive communities online. We also  have horrendous and hurtful trolling. It comes down to unpredictable and wide-ranging human behaviour.

For some, the glasses may have sensational impacts:

  • Medical practitioners might share what they’re viewing and seek advice from colleagues
  • Coaches and teachers can impart advise and knowledge over distances
  • ‘Citizen journalists’ could share footage
  • Families can share special moments with those who can’t be there: cutting the birthday cake, saying I Do, sending a grandchild to their first day of school
  • We could more easily document our lives for future generations

Here in Adelaide, roving radio reporters like ABC radio’s Spence Denny could capture what they’re seeing. Today, Spence describes events on air for the studio journalists and listeners, and also shares images on social media. But if he can capture that burst water main with his Google Glasses?

Of course, I’m not the first person to ask these questions and envisage a scary future. The Next Web said: “The glasses situation comes down to each of us deciding how much is too much sharing and when we’ve finally lost too much privacy” .  But most criticism seems to revolve around the potential of ads being pushed at us, and Google storing data about our behaviour and movements, rather than an examination of how it may change us.

Jonathan Macintosh made a video about the privacy implications of Google glasses, demonstrating what it might look like to the wearer, should Google layer the experience with advertising:

Sure, you don’t have to wear Google glasses.

But our Google Glasses experience can be impacted by others.

We may not be the wearer. But we may be star of the film.



Categories: google, privacy, social media

150 replies

  1. I think it will have a negative impact on our freedom and our behaviour. Most people may well restrain their behaviour. I expect those with an anarchist bent will react in very obvious ways. Perhaps this is not a good thing.

  2. It makes me nervous. It has HUGE potential for being used to hurt people and I think we have enough ‘connectedness’ already – we don’t NEED more.

    What is this insatiable appetite people have for information that really doesn’t concern them? And the need to have their say in everything? I wonder why we can’t just mind our own business more.

    There is no opt-out with this and I don’t like that. Sure, someone can easily now film me doing something and post it on the internet. But they have to be rather obvious about it, and that deters them from doing it for ‘evil’ reasons.

    And of course, the legal system will take 20 years to catch up, if it ever does that is.

    Great pics, btw :D

  3. Hi Michelle, thanks for your interesting blog. We’re all constantly evolving and adapting to new technology. Who would have thought a few years ago that the Pope would be twittering? I’m about to have broadband connected to my house and I’m wildly excited about the possibilities that brings with it.
    With every new device, comes a new, faster way of communicating – through pictures, videos, texts. So goggles is just the next generation of device.
    Like emails and twitters and Facebook and live streaming and phone cameras, there will people who use them offensively, but human behaviour is such that there will always be people who do stupid things. We can’t halt the technology revolution because of the potential for inappropriate use. And that’s because on the flipside, there is usually so much more good that can come from these advances.
    There are thousands of young people out there developing new and better and more creative technologies. It’s happening. We must adapt and learn to live with it. If we have to write rules and laws to govern their use, I’m sure we will. When the motor car was first invented, there were no road rules, no laws about seat belts, or depth of tyre tread.
    The pace of change is rapid and it is going to be difficult initially for legislators to keep up, but they will catch up. I think much of this new technology can be used for good – for breaking down barriers, opening up our own worlds to each other, and yes, perhaps ensuring we behave a little better and a little kinder toward each other.
    Am I a hopeless optimist? You bet.

    • In some ways you both are right but the problem is that we are going to start living like robots soon because the person around the corner might be wearing google glasses and if I make the slightest trip or anything I a expecting ti see it on youtube in the next 2hours privacy is slowly starting to reach it’s limits.

  4. I think the glasses will keep you from seeing what really is around you – if you have a screen with the way you have to go, information about everything around you, the weather, news, and who knows what kind of information apps will be included in the future…
    …you wouldn’t really notice your surroundings as you do know, because there are so many information you have to process…

  5. It’s a good assumption nowadays to just figure that you’re being watched by somebody no matter where you are outside of your house. Maybe if people thought their every move would be seen by millions, there’d be less savagery in this world (I guess I consider littering and urinating on sidewalks savagery). New things are always scary. I’m sure we’ll all get along fine.

    • That’s a nice thought – less savagery in the world. What I’m worried about are the completely innocent and innocuous things we may do which offend others somehow when they’re “caught” on Google Glasses. The types of things that make for family and friend arguments.

      • I hear you. Like when I throttle my one year old son Homer Simpson going after Bart style? Why you little!!

        Out of context, people could be offended by my parenting style. Lol.

        I’d never heard of these glasses. Thanks for the info.

      • Yes! Another – cough – good example. :)

  6. It is rather a sad day we’ve reached that we need our screens so badly we never want to look away.

  7. Enjoyable read! I have a feeling Glass will not pass through all of Google’s development stages. If it does, the results will be pretty futuristic. The rapid growth of technology is both scary and fascinating, like a pan of oil catching fire in your kitchen.

  8. Dear Michelle, I think you discuss something very important here. I think that there’s too much meaningless information shared on-line and the glasses might just contribute to an overload of information without valuable content. What about privacy? Even if this glasses were to help capture a thief, or an infraction, I think that people should learn about boundaries and respect without the fear of being recorded by a pair of glasses.

  9. Why wait for Google Glass, people can do all that with a phone. Can we make a call with Google Glass?

    • I had the same thought: except Google Glasses would be so much more easy to use, especially suddenly. Sure, it just takes seconds to whip a phone out of your pocket, enter passcode, find your camera app and then film that traffic accident – but if you’re wearing GG you’ll get a few more seconds of vital footage. And people tend to balk when a phone is pulled out – if we’re all wearing GG what will the impact be on our behaviour if we’re unsure our actions are being recorded/beamed?

      • @ if we’re all wearing GG what will the impact be on our behaviour if we’re unsure our actions are being recorded/beamed?..>Great question..But a ton of our actions are already ‘on camera’ far more than we know. And without asking for our consent! In stores, ATM cameras, even cameras at traffic lights..Is there any such thing as total privacy anymore? Thats the real question we have to ask ourselves. Answer? Yep, in our homes is the ONLY place we can be sure there isn’t a camera..

      • Thanks for your comments. I agree – our privacy is tenuous now. What I’m most interested in with GG, as a flow on from this, is whether they might change our behaviour. We carry on as usual, largely, with CCTV everywhere. But when someone you’re interacting with has GGs on, and just someone in your crowd, would you adapt to suit? How we use Google Glasses may be up to individuals and individuals have very different standards and motivations. This means we’d be very reliant on the user and what they do with their GG-viewed content.

      • Agree totally with your viewpoint..Technology , with all of the convenience, its given us..has also caused such new norms and situations. Its going to be a much more interesting ride IF these glasses become a big hit..If only people didn’t use “good inventions” for ill purposes. Guess we’ll have to wait & see with this one

      • So many people have phones in their hands. Many don’t need a passcode or a seperate camera app. There’s a button on the side of the phone and they can take a shot while apearing to use your the handset; looking for a contact’s number, perhaps.

        I see people texting while walking all the time; or are they really filming?

        I did like your post, but I won’t be wearing Google Glass. I will take pictures of people who do though; with a point-it-in-your-face (discreetly) camera. :)

  10. Great post, you certainly raise some important issues here! For me it’s the last point that’s most troubling, the one about google tracking your movement and behaviors. Now I’m no ax murderer or drug baron but I still dislike the idea of massive amounts of data on me being accrued, stored and used to predict my shopping habits etc. I already use Starpage.com instead of google as I know that google keeps a record of all your search queries for 9 months or so on their local servers.

    I guess in the end though the tech will always win, everyone will have a smartphone soon enough, and I’d say people will jump at the idea of google glasses regardless of the fact that they will be giving up more of their (and other citizens) privacy and personal information.

    It is a very cool piece of kit though, and as you point out there are some very funny and potentially beneficial uses as well :)

    Thanks for sharing and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    All the best ;)

    Rohan.

  11. Hmm.. I think it’s a good thing as long as they don’t get on to the wrong eyes..

  12. With great power, comes great responsibility. With that said it’s going to be a mess. Great post.

  13. Reblogged this on partneringwitheagles and commented:
    WP has archived loopyloo305’s pg. It is no longer available. To those of you who know my stance on privacy, will understand my concern. (Google is embedded in the WP works, and owns YouTube.) I found this post on the pg notifying about this action o loopyloo305. Google Glasses? Anyone know about this? I was unaware till now. “X”

  14. Although there are those advantages, it scares me to think of a future when society relies on all these devices and lose “human-ness”. For now, I think the negatives outweigh the positives for this one, but who knows, we just might grow into them.

  15. Personally think it would be violating especially since it could happen without consent.

  16. I have a slightly different perception of privacy acts. Being a victim of crime, and not having the right to know the whereabouts of my perpetrator because it’s an invasion of that person’s privacy … I’ld sure like that person to be the subject of google glasses :S

    But yes, the whole world is askew with too much privacy and a lack of privacy. There no longer seems to be balance.

    • That’s a point! There are so many layers to this – as some other readers have said, it’s about how the tech is adopted and we’ve had great waves of new technology before and ‘survived’. There have however been some massive negatives for some people. Think of those who have been cyber bullied and deeply affected. :(

      • Absolutely!!! There are many negatives. What was it they used to say about weapons of mass destruction being in the wrong hands. A little extreme for a comparison, but no different to the kid that’s been bullied. A tool in the wrong hands is still “a tool in the wrong hands.”

      • A tool in the wrong hands is still a tool that can be misused.

  17. “•in a classroom where a teacher is reprimanding a student”

    As an educator in a society where parents already whole-heartedly believe that their children can do no wrong, this thought terrifies me.

    And I’ve both read and taught too many dystopian novels to keep my mind from making some even more frightening leaps.

  18. I’m sorry, but this is creepy and freaky. And I keep remembering what that idiot in charge of Google said when people were complaining about Street View capturing others: “If you’re worried about being seen doing something, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.” I have never heard something so STUPID in my life — seen going into a medical marijuana dispensary? Seen going into a gay nightclub? Seen going into a friend’s house … by a stalker? Is his brain completely out of gear?

    “Don’t be evil.” Yeah, right. More like, “We’re not evil ourselves, but we’re just consciously making it way easier for other people to be evil! We’re evil facilitators! On a scale that human civilization has never seen before and might not be able to cope with! Which is, like, totally different!

  19. This is a GREAT article. The only thing I would adjust or add it that our behaviors and communications have already been negatively impacted by the internet in general. http://cherispeak.wordpress.com/community-culture/adjust-your-settings/ and http://cherispeak.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/do-you-engage-to-enrage/ … not just dropping links here, it applies to your topic and it is a topic I take pretty seriously. Anyhow, fantastic job. I applaud you.

  20. Somehow, with Google around, I see it all so clearly now. I just created a Google+ account and saw the contest for Glass. It left me wondering how I could enter and win but also wondering who we will become, how we will evolve or not. Either way, I’m so happy you wrote this post. I’ll be following.

  21. The Internet doesn’t need to know where I am –store, bakery, etc.

    The rest of the world, including my own family don’t need nor want snippets of my ordinary life all the time. I just give the highlights. Why clutter the Internet and blogosphere with visual minutiae so often on my personal life?

    So I just blog occasionally. Forget about Facebook. Just getting email from my family and friends is a feat. I’m glad, I don’t want too much of their photos going shopping, etc. either. Just give me occasional, quality stuff about their life.

  22. What a great, valid post! I had a conversation the other day where we were discussing other effects on us that weren’t such a concern in terms of society, but perhaps in the way a human functions – if we only rely on g glasses as a map device, do we start to lose our ability to build memories and navigate tasks in other, broader ways? Our ability to recall or store memories generally might be less necessary – is there a consequence to this?

    • Thanks for reading. I’m sure there are a few involved in the GG project who are interested in these types of impacts. Other commentators/researchers may be too. If they’re not – THEY SHOULD BE. :)

  23. Honestly, I think this will be kind of like cell phones, the internet, or any other technological advance: It will have ups and downs, and most likely the ups will outweigh the downs. Great article though, and definitely interesting to think about!

    • I agree. I do feel bad, though, for those people who may have devastating “downs”. It’s like social media I guess – some of us have had happy, positive experiences, which others may have been trolled, bullied, harassed and so on.

  24. Hmmmm. I agree there can be problems associated with google glasses, depending on the individual. But at the same time, this is incredibly awesome. I think the bottom line is common sense. If it’s not something that should be shared on the internet, don’t share it! I’ve seen quite a few family members get into the most heated arguments EVER on social media over the sillest things, a little bit of common sense would have nipped that in the bud. There is such a thing as dependency.

    Being connected is awesome though. I live in the UK and I speak with my family in the States once a week on skype and facetime. Technology is a gift. I think google glasses will help rather than hinder, ultimately. :)

    • Ah, so many of us don’t have commonsense. :)

      Regarding the heated debates on social media – sometimes I do wonder whether that actually gives us real insights into a person’s personality.

      • ha! It might. I also think it brings out the crazy. In real life social situations people tend to remember a filter (Oh, maybe I shouldn’t be so vocal about my politics/education/sports teams) which disappears online ;)

  25. Is this for real? How would anybody see in those things with all the little screens popping up all the time? If it is for real, I’m getting contacts.

  26. Oh my god. I don’t know whether to run screaming out of excitement, or out of fear. Just think of what could happen. Not only sexting and stuff, but what about Instagram? You think its annoying now, just wait!

  27. It’s just like medication. I think the good over rides the side effects.

  28. Reblogged – i think this is a great read

  29. I wonder if this means photographers will no longer be relevant…

  30. Couldn’t like your post because of some problem with the Like button in WordPress. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I loved your post, awesome thought. :) Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  31. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Great post. Just hoping the Google Glasses will not be misused by anyone.

  32. The thought of getting Google Glass is simply thrilling and amazing but factors in wearing should also be taken in consideration, both the bad and the good. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  33. Reblogged this on bizGENIUS with Sonia Myers and commented:
    the English version

  34. Like anything else, there is never as problem with the tech itself, it is always in its users/uses. Sure, there will be inappropriate uses of it. Name one piece of tech that hasn’t been misused. The media industry cried fowl when tape players came on the scene. Then they cried fowl when video tapes apoeared. Then CDs, then DVD, not to mention mo3 players…..and yet the industry survives. Everyone will adapt, everyone will move on. Wait til those glasses turn into replacement eyeballs….you’ll hear the same thing and the same response will happen. We will adapt and move on.

    • I’m not blaming tech: the whole point of this post was to ponder how people might use the tech. Google Glasses might have a bigger impact than CDs, DVDs, iPods, you name it. Why? Because they could be sharing what you’re doing,via your friends and family, in your everyday life, in a way that all those other media could never do – they were too clunky and convoluted. Google Glasses are the invention that are meant to be worn unobtrusively and used lightly and easily. I do hope you see the difference.

      I’ve pointed out many benefits of GG: again, I am trying to look at the good and bad and trying to prepare us for what might possibly happen. You’ve used the term ‘adapt’. How will we adapt? And why the hell should we? That’s my point.

      • “in a way that all those other media could never do” LOL, do you honestly think that someone’s private video tape never got circulated? Some conversation tape recorded played over a radio station? GG is merely an extension of what has already been done. Sure, it’s not as ‘clunky and convoluted’ as you opinted out but it is no difference, in essence, to what we have been doing for our entire history. First there was stories/gossip, then there was the written word, now we have video and very soon, we will have instant, somewhat covert video. Nothing has changed but the method. The idea has not changed.

        “And why the hell should we?”

        No one said you have to. Feel free to ignore the tech, move in with the Menonites or form your own society with your own rules, or (in a rather extreme act of paranoia) end your existence and maybe in your next life it will be easier.

        Still, this whole line of discussion is still focused on the tech and not on the people. The only thing that will help will be purely education and wisdom to use the technology we are exposed to in an appropriate manner.

  35. I need to get better at social media, cause i want to gain a big following on my you tube videos, i think i have a lot to say, but it is hard to get viewers, but that is ok, i do like your blog, and i will continue to read it.

  36. I don’t feel comfortable about this at all. The thought of someone recording me without my knowledge and being able to upload it directly to the internet makes me feel uneasy. I don’t want complete strangers being able to do this. I mean, clearly privacy policies are going to be similar to the way they are now, but how am I supposed to know about every video I’m in being uploaded? I’ve already had a ‘friend’ record me without my knowledge and put that recording on YouTube, but the only way I found out about it was because he told me and thought he could use it as blackmail. It wasn’t a bad video, hell I wasn’t even really doing anything, but the fact that he did it without my permission made me angry, and I wondered how many other people things like that could happen to.

    In short, I am definitely NOT comfortable with something like this being developed.

  37. It seems like 1984 is becoming real…

  38. Okay, first things first. Great post, and congratulations of getting Freshly Pressed. Now onto the the post itself. I loved it and the video you added on the end was great, but…All I could think of was, if I wore these glasses I would be walking into walls, tripping, and falling over things because of the many distractions! Great post, I know I’ve said that already, but I really did like it. :-D

  39. As much as i am a believer of technology and a sucker at that…narrowing of privacy is a raging concern…though am sure the intent behind these would have been noble, but the negative usage might sabotage its existence…
    a very well described blog…congratulations prakky.

  40. I reckon it would be rather disruptive, once the cool, first ‘stage’ passed. I am picturing a Woody Allen-style a scene where something has gone wrong with those glasses or they’ve broken.

  41. This is really interesting. Don’t know if you have seen this but I recently watched a really thought provoking BBC documentary about Google and mention was made in the programme about Google glasses:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01qxmqc/Storyville_20122013_Google_and_the_World_Brain/

  42. When I first started reading this I thought it was a joke! Are people not distracted enough by technology while in public? I think about all the people I have seen out having a nice dinner, texting other people instead of enjoying one anothers company. This will certainly not help that!

  43. Yep, I agree with everyone who thinks we are already as connected as we need to be. Too much, in fact.
    I like your illustrations :)
    Great post!

  44. Can you imagine someone wearing them on a blind date?

  45. This technology is… creepy -,-

  46. “This is not good, definitely not good.” – Macaulay Culkin (The Pagemaster) I think it’s just another thing to take the fun and spontaneity out of life. by the way i like the drawings :)

  47. When I first found out about google glasses, I thought they seemed pretty darn cool. But after reading your post, now I’m a bit freaked out by the possible invasion of privacy!

  48. Can you imagine, the bottled up frustrations, pent up angers and hostilities from being forced to being someone you are not, whether your a good or bad person, one mistake, one out burst staining your character for life to be replayed over and over again?
    Even the most humble and most intentness of people to do well will feel victimized by this, and these are the good decent people, what will become of those who are evil and can longer hide their evil, will they openly display it or leave it to be bottled up until they can no longer retain or control it, and how much more would they project that hatred & frustrations towards others?
    Evil thrives within the darkness and in badly lit recesses of a humans soul, imagine now, that it will always be cast into the light, I believe this will cause an adverse & severe reaction in many people, especially those who hate their true nature being put on display 24/7????

    • That’s a very interesting comment .. ” being forced to being someone you are not, whether your a good or bad person, one mistake, one out burst staining your character for life to be replayed over and over again?” and what I’m most concerned and intrigued by. Thanks for reading.

  49. I was just thinking….I think this is going to be used for evil intentions and just think about how easily these images can be altered to be used against you…The Running Man????

  50. Will probably think they are dumb at first…until I own my first pair and they are amazing. :) I understand the fear of the invasion of privacy, but we already need to watch how we act with Youtube and smartphones floating around. Before we know it, we will be recorded all the time.

  51. I think the future is already here, just in different forms. Remember a film when a person can record anything that he saw, for as long as his entire life? This is just like that and no different. In the near future, I believe there will be a ban for wearing glasses for people who go to see movie, attend a closed meetings, or passing through the customary. So, what, if the tool is implanted on his eye, does he have to remove his eye first to do certain things or enter certain rooms? This is just ridiculous! But I can’t see any way to prevent any kind like this to happen, as I believe this can, and will happen, as one company has already pioneered the development, the world will know that such kind of technology is possible now to achieve, and other companies will soon follow. So sad.

  52. I found this very interesting. I hadn’t done a lot of research on Google Glasses before reading this article. However, I find them very interesting. I agree with the points you make and I think they are very valid. Although these sound very interesting I don’t see myself wearing these on a daily basis. For instance, I wouldn’t wear them at my wedding or family gatherings. I know that there would be a lot of special moments that would be great to capture with the glasses, but I am a strong believer in memories as well as pictures. I think some life events should just be memories instead of pictures, too. However, I like the idea of using the technology for medical purposes. Furthermore, I do agree that it would be difficult to keep people from using this product for evil, but that is just a risk factor that comes along with other products as well. There will always be those uncontrollable factors. I am always anxious, excited, and nervous to see what new technology is going to be invented next. Maybe there will be Google Glasses with 3-D effects! Oh, the possibilities…

  53. well, every new technology has some advantages and disadvantages, but i am eagerly waiting for google glasses. This is our step to a new revolution in technology, so be calm and don’t worry…

  54. Somehow this and the possibilities of ads reminds me of Wall-E and how the people thought they had all these relationships while sitting on their rears and speaking to a screen. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to live their lives through these kinds of devices if they don’t have too. I wonder when wedgie pickers will become a meme!

  55. Great piece, congrats on becoming a kiwi fruit (Freshly Pressed) and loved the cartoons too. The first thought that occurred to me was: what about people (like me) who wear glasses permanently (apart from when showering, having sex or sleeping)? Would you put the GGs on top? I think not. A British glamour model once told me that I had ‘Robert Deniro eyes’. So to paraphrase Travis Bickle: ‘You lookin’ at me?’.

    Now for a Google ad break: http://steveswindells.wordpress.com/about

    Where did I put my glasses dammit?

  56. These glasses are either going to integrate easily among people, or be considered too much of an appendage. Most people are busy enough with their iphones and tablet devices to bother buying an extra gadget, let alone wearing one on their face…

    Despite this, there are endless reasons to opt for the lenses over heavier, clunkier hand-held camera recorders.

  57. Reblogged this on THE BIG FAT OVEN.

  58. It’s like that one line out of cartoon strip : “we’ve seen the enemy , and they are us…..”

  59. Great post. I think it’s sad. I already alter my behavior and don’t enjoy parties or gatherings as much. I have an oversharer in the family and feel like I have to make an announcement — please don’t post this. When I know I have no choice I have to make sure I’m Facebook ready — visually and emotionally. It’s a strange world and privacy is so illusory. The internet is great for sharing information and connecting but the long term effects are unknown as technology changes. I guess on the other hand soon (perhaps already) there will be so much random stuff available its impact is diluted and no one will care or be able to find the information. Some say the best way to control your online persona is to post so much stuff that the important stuff is buried on — gasp — page 2 of a search — never to be seen. The proliferation of data has made us lazy, so there’s that . . .

  60. seriously though I would not be able to function in those glasses.

  61. Have you read the book “Feed” by M.T. Anderson? It was written around 2003. Check it out. Google goggles bring us one step closer to the dystopian world depicted in the novel. Eek!

  62. Amazing post. I actually considered the Glasses to be some sort of a futuristic gadget but this post really is an eye-opener. However, it all depends on how we put these Glasses to use.
    Cheers.

  63. Oh, I definitely see the flaws. But is it really that different from our present ability to capture video with our cellphones, tablets, and other devices? Right now, people are constantly capturing images and videos of others at their very worst and uploading the media to Youtube and social networking sites. Sure, the glasses will enable people to record without having to make the effort of holding their arms up and they will eliminate the shakiness of the image, but at the end of the day, the same objective will be achieved. I’m betting the biggest difference these glasses will make will be in the world of pirating movies. Hmm…slipping on a pair of specs vs. trying to subtly manipulate a camera (attached to a mobile device or otherwise)…the latter will definitely be easier and of a higher quality. So beware, Hollywood. The pirates are about to get more booty. Arrr!

  64. Great article, love the little pics.
    I think we all may be overlooking one thing though, this is a computer we are going to be wearing on our heads. What kind of security will be built in for the user? Are Google Glasses going to be easily hacked? The demand for this product will be global, in turn making this a huge target for those who want to circumnavigate these systems. What kind of information could potentially be ‘lifted’ from these devices? Your video’s, your photos, your GPS data?

    I’m personally looking forward to GG, and can’t wait to check them out.

    If I were to think of awkward social situations the glasses may become involved in, imagine this situation:
    You’ve taken your children to the park for a nice lunch. After you finish lunch you let your children play on the playground equipment. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice a disheveled looking older man. He looks towards the playground and places on a pair of GG. What do you think? Do you freak out? Do you heard your children back into the car?

    I know that’s a pretty far reaching scenario and maybe even a weak hypothetical, but for the sakes of discussion, I hope you can see my point.

    Well done, Prakky

  65. Reblogged this on Living life to the fullest! Its short!!! and commented:
    Mmmhh…a sense of humor like no other

  66. Well thought through and I hope to read many more debates on the subject. The notion of privacy and intimacy is being completely redefined for future generations. It is becoming more important to share for instant gratification of thought than it is to be personal. The companies with the largest amount of digital storage will prove the most successful, recording and using humanity’s daily habits and sexual desires for sales. And sales alone.

  67. Reblogged this on susanne287 and commented:
    Google Glasses! I had no idea.

  68. Great post – As I clinician in training, the sentence “Medical practitioners might share what they’re viewing and seek advice from colleagues” caught my attention. There are serious confidentiality issues here, and patients should be fully informed and give consent regarding the use of the technology. Not everyone wants their information up in the cloud. I work in an office where we don’t use wireless for security reasons – Google glasses would definitely not be permitted there!

    i’m also not sure that the use of the technology would increase accountability – maybe of us continue to check our personal emails even if we know companies monitor their employees’ online activity….

  69. Indeed it would be bring some serious problems with it , all those privacy issue will be taken to a whole new level , But I also think if you can not stop something from happening , why not focus on the positive aspect …
    On and all , the pics are hilarious … lolz… especially this one : “MOM , evn ma frnds say dis food sux” :D

  70. See the movie Strange Days…it is nearly reality! ~Regards, Dan

  71. Great post, and something that came to my mind recently too. This seems like a huge violation of now only law in certain cases – and to break law would be very simple, e.g. filming strategic buildings like underground stations which is illegal – but simply our privacy. I don’t want to be recorded ‘by accident’, which I’m sure is going to happen. I know people can do that with their phones too, but it’s less instant and unconscious.

  72. I haven’t heard much about these glasses. Has there been anything released about how they will effect people’s eyes? It seems like viewing something, like ads or the weather, so close couldn’t be good for them.

    • That’s a good question. I haven’t seen any research or commentary about the potential effect on our eyes – I’m sure someone somewhere will be examining that, though.They’re different to correctional glasses, right, and will require our eyes to drift to different parts of the GG screen regularly. Interesting.

  73. Google Glasses.. I love this concept! Great blog

  74. I really liked the take you had on this. I had only thought about the cool things you could use them for before I saw this post.

  75. Nice post. You’re probably right about what the consequences of Google glasses would be, for a while. I was thinking though – wouldn’t it get ‘old’? Like, yes, it’s funny to see somebody fall over or whatever, but if Youtube was just crammed with random videos of that stuff, (even more than it already is, I mean) wouldn’t people just lose interest? Plus the fact that people would be that much more unlikely to find that video with you in it.

  76. I will probably end up just paraphrasing what someone else said because this subject has brought on a lot of comments! Kudos to you!

    To me, Youtube and other outlets are great in some regards and in other uses, it has become a study of narcissism. Almost like the proverbial jokes about the having to sit through the old family vacation movies yet sometimes worse.

    Also, thanks to things like the GoPro cameras, we can be subjected to seeing videos of people doing mundane things with all of the background taken away and the user being just about the only subject. This will be worse because at least the GoPro camera is easily seen.

    Like the many before me have stated…a privacy nightmare.

  77. Voyeurism has become the new norm. I will be working on my right jab, aimed squarely at the eyes of anyone wearing these things, pointed at me.

  78. So if you see something wearing google glasses, can you be forced to provide the images as evidence for or against someone in a court of law? At what point does one’s point of view color the reality it captures?

  79. I think the project is very interesting but it has so many pitfalls. The camera issue is my biggest concern with people being able to record video or snap photos without their subjects being aware. Yes that happens now but with Glass it becomes so much easier.

    I’m one of those people whos very excited about this whole thing but it shall be ingesting to see how it turns out.

  80. the situation with google glasses sounds very humorous to me. I hope people do not use it for silly purposes.

  81. Ahhhh but aren’t these similar concerns to what we were saying when cameras came out? Or phones with photo capabilities!?

    Yes.

    Do we throw the baby out with the bathwater here?

    I’d say not.

    There will be a period of adjustment, new privacy bills being introduced (and probably un-enforceable laws as a result), general chaos while we all play with our new toy… but then things will calm down. It’s the way these things go. Street Photographers deal with these kinds of concerns all the time.

    The folks conducting their life in a manner in which they can be proud, won’t care who’s watching. (People are ALWAYS watching, btw.) The folks who are conducting their life in a manner in which they are NOT-so-proud… don’t care enough about their life let alone who’s watching.

    I think I’m more concerned with the mini-drones and little remote copters and other small surveillance type “toys and gadgets” out there that can peek right in second story windows and the like… where people are conducting their life IN PRIVATE settings.

    Limiting the risk of someone snapping an unfavorable shot of me is the best I hope for… along with the estimated $1500.00 Google Glasses is going to cost upon general release!

    On second thought: I’ll just do what I always do when new electronic gadgets come out: wait two years while the bugs and legalese is worked out and the price plummets to half.

    (GREAT article, btw!)

  82. great post, although anyway to limit comments per page.. scrolling forever to reach the comment box is mildly annoying. I cant wait for Google glasses, will most certainly be picking up a pair if they reach the 300$ish amount. Although i’m unsure of what id actually use them for.

  83. You made me think. Fantastic post

  84. Google glasses and the future of technology are a bit frightening! I was already thankful i grew up BEFORE iphone cameras, & facebook! Only time will tell…

  85. I actually really don’t like the idea of Google glasses either. It is creepy and stalkerish.

  86. It certainly is a terrifying thought. Here in India, we could end up documenting all kinds of unwanted stuff. But that thought about documenting our lives for future generations- with the amount of social media coverage our lives are getting right now, I doubt anyone would want to know anything at all about us in the future!

  87. Great article, I hadn’t thought of all the potential dangers.

  88. I wonder how this will change the experience of growing up. Teenagers usually experiment with different identities. But in a post Google glass world you will never be able to escape either your online profile or the past you. People interacting with you will see your profile, your rating and rather than fading with memory, everything you have ever done or said will remain fresh from 14 to 40.

  89. Great post. Eventually all information about everybody will be copy righted material, owned by some data miner. That allows others, and not you, to tell your story in any way they want.

  90. There are pros and cons associated with any new technology that comes out. As a researcher my self new is always welcome. But your posts surely does reach out with valid concerns. Thanks to social networking we are all becoming a searchable online entity lately http://wp.me/p32Jhi-mT . Glasses might just act as a catalyst here to rip us off the little anonymity we have left online, but on the brighter side it will serve for greater good I’m sure. All boils down to the right use. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  91. Reblogged this on Kay's Blog and commented:
    This got me thinking…

  92. Wished I lived in Australia . . .sigh

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