Google Glass! Can’t wait! Walking around and looking at stuff and there’s internet everywhere, floating a few feet in front of me, capable of analyzing images in a split second and identifying the exact model of bus heading towards me as a German AE-58 (screeeeeeeeechthump)

 Two thoughtful pieces on Google Glass remind us that there’s a problem with these things. A big problem. No one will want to talk to anyone wearing them, because they will seem distracted, and oh by the way you’re being filmed and uploaded to Google’s servers. Mark Hurst:


The key experiential question of Google Glass isn’t what it’s like to wear them, it’s what it’s like to be around someone else who’s wearing them . . . you can’t comfortably ask them to take the glasses off (especially when, inevitably, the device is integrated into prescription lenses). Finally – here’s where the problems really start – you don’t know if they’re taking a video of you.

 Now pretend you don’t know a single person who wears Google Glass… and take a walk outside. Anywhere you go in public – any store, any sidewalk, any bus or subway – you’re liable to be recorded: audio and video. Fifty people on the bus might be Glassless, but if a single person wearing Glass gets on, you – and all 49 other passengers – could be recorded. Not just for a temporary throwaway video buffer, like a security camera, but recorded, stored permanently, and shared to the world.

How well do you think people will react to someone on the bus who’s filming everyone? Poorly.


Joel Hladecek knows it will fail, because he’s from the future.

Wearing Google Glass made users feel like they didn’t have to connect with the actual humans around them. “I’m elsewhere – even though I appear to be staring right at you.” Frankly the people who wore Google Glass were afraid of the people around them. And Glass gave them a strange transparent hiding place. A self-centered context for suffering through normal moments of uncomfortable close proximity. Does it matter that everyone around you is more uncomfortable for it?

At least with a hand-held phone there was no charade. The very presence of the device in hand, head down, was a clear flag alerting bystanders to the momentary disconnect. “At the moment, I’m not paying attention to you.”

But in it’s utterly elitist privacy, Google Glass offered none of that body language. Which revealed other problems.

Read the whole thing, as they say. 

I’m as novelty-added as the next guy, and I love new technology - and I have no interest in these things. 


WEB This is fun: The Museum of Endangered Sounds.

BOOK SThis is sad: The biographer of Ward Kimball, one of the great Disney animators, says his book was cancelled - and he says he thinks Disney nixed it. More here.

That’s it for today, alas; deadlines for newspaper stories loom. See you around.