Google Glass is an Observation Gun

“Maybe I’m recording everything you say. Maybe I’ll upload it the internet. Maybe I’ll leave it in context or maybe I’ll reality-show your ass into any appalling arrangement I like. So I guess the question is, do ya feel lucky? Or rather, do you feel I’m worth the effort of carefully vetting every single thing you say to me?”

Google Glass isn’t cyber-spectacles, it’s a camera crown, turning the wearer into an electronic Queen: you have to watch your manners and anything you do near them might end up online anyway.

Wearing glass seems like a great way to be far too much trouble for anyone to ever talk to. It’s like talking with hi-beams on. We’ll need Google dimmers, a gentle green light which lets us know when we’re not being recorded as opposed to the old red light which let us know we are. Instead, Glass has a green light which lets you know that you’re being recorded and that it’s time to leave. And it’s still worthless. Because it might take as many as five whole minutes for someone to work out how to remove the light. Which turns the device into a Regnidörhcs experiment: you don’t know whether the contents of the box are observing you or not, and you won’t until they affect the rest of the world.

So you’ll have to ask the wearer to remove Glass instead. It’s an observation gun: the mere presence of the device says far more than the intent of the wielder. Ownership of a device doesn’t give anyone the automatic right to threaten other people with it.
People are going to be asked to take it off, and some of them are going to be assholes about it.

On the upside, it looks like a fantastic way to prevent anyone from ever bothering you again. I talked about how headphones can shield you from the rest of the species over at Cracked, but Glass could gift us elective untouchability.

Advance further into the future with

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