AUGMENTED REALITY EYEWEAR Google Glass has been treated unfairly, or so its designers think, and to redress the balance Google has debunked the "Top Ten Myths" about it.
Myth 1 - Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world. According to Google, "Glass is off by default and only on when you want it to be." In other words, it's only on when it's on and therefore it won't distract you, unless it does.
Myth 2 - Glass is always on and recording everything. Google said, "Glass isn't designed for or even capable of always-on recording (the battery won't last longer than 45 minutes before it needs to be charged)." It would still be nice if there was a red light that came on or something though, wouldn't it?
Myth 3 - Glass Explorers are technology-worshipping geeks. Google said its Explorers, or beta testers, include "parents, firefighters, zookeepers, brewmasters, film students, reporters, and doctors." It also claimed that Glass makes them use technology less "because they're using it more efficiently". We're really not sure what to make of that statement, so we'll wait and see if parents, firefighters, zookeepers, brewmasters, film students, reporters, and doctors are first in the queue on launch day.
Myth 4 - Glass is ready for prime time. Google reminded us that this is a prototype device and that "in the future, today's prototype may look as funny to us as that mobile phone from the mid 80s." No, Google. Not in the future, now.
Myth 5: Glass does facial recognition (and other dodgy things). Google said it doesn't. Alright, it doesn't. Not yet.
Myth 6: Glass covers your eye(s). Google said the screen is actually above the right eye. If we wanted to be pedantic we'd say that it's a pair of glasses so of course it covers the eyes, but we won't.
Myth 7 - Glass is the perfect surveillance device. Google seemed to find this terribly amusing. It said, "If someone wants to secretly record you, there are much, much better cameras out there than one you wear conspicuously on your face and that lights up every time you give a voice command, or press a button." Fair enough.
Myth 8 - Glass is only for those privileged enough to afford it. There are rumours that the finished device will cost significantly less than the present $1,500 price. However Google said some raised the money to buy it through Kickstarter and Indiegogo. What, really? We're going to try to raise the money for a new fridge for the office.
Myth 9 - Glass is banned... EVERYWHERE. Google warned, "Just bear in mind, would-be banners: Glass can be attached to prescription lenses, so requiring Glass to be turned off is probably a lot safer than insisting people stumble about blindly in a locker room." Given that we've already had people being arrested for wearing Glass while driving and held by the FBI for movie piracy, we've got a long way to go.
Myth 10 - Glass marks the end of privacy. Google pointed out that people thought cameras, video cameras and cellphones all signaled the end of privacy, but in reality, and once they became commonplace, the worry died down. This final point brings us to our Internet of Things debate.
The INQUIRER is running a debate this week on the rise of the Internet of Things that is powering wearable technology development. We'd like to hear your views on whether the Internet of Things will kill privacy, or whether user data collected by smart devices will be adequately protected. You can vote for or against these propositions here. µ
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