Oh my god you guys the future is here and we are all going to die. This was and continues to be my reaction to Google’s new product, Google Glass. Although it’s not yet commercially available, folks have gotten to test the product, and videos are scattered about the net depicting the experience of using this scary-ass technology. I’ve taken a look and, acknowledging that this particular technological leap is pretty damn awesome, have to conclude that any more advanced and we’d be androids or robots (can we rage against Google?).
A brief overview of what this thing is. Picture sleek spectacles with a camera, a touchpad above the ear, and lenses that are actually a transparent computer screen. Using voice commands, you can take photos, search stuff on Google, find directions, and all manner of things that you can do on a tablet or smartphone. The little touchpad allows for scrolling, and to activate a command, you politely say, “Ok Google Glass,” and then technological wizardry takes place. As impressive as it is, and reminiscent of so much science fiction, it’s also a nail in the coffin for the normal citizen’s privacy, as well as an example of technological dependency and addiction.
But I guess it’s awesome, despite the negative stuff associated with it. It does bend the limits of what one can do on a device; it’s hands free computing, or, basically, robot status. Basically, you get to be the Terminator, or RoboCop, but instead of killing folk, you’re Facebooking and Twittering USING YOUR FACE.
So that’s an upside. But the downsides are astounding. Google Glass, primarily, seems like a highly addictive device, putting a computerized veil over reality few people are able to perceive as it is. You know how ridiculous it is to be out at a bar and everyone has a smartphone out. With Google Glass, you can be looking straight at someone’s face and perceive nothing beyond a photo you are taking of them that you may never even look at again. Google Glass files away experiences for later use that are happening right now. Also, with a computer wired to your eyeballs, the need for knowing directions or doing anything basic and tactile goes out the window.
Also, imagine that anyone with Google Glass can take a picture of you undetected. It’s not so difficult to notice some dude snapping a shot of you on an iPhone, but you can’t tell if that same dude with Google Glass isn’t taking your picture, Googling you, and posting that same shot on Facebook as he’s standing there with a dumb grin on his face. As well, do you trust being in the passenger seat of someone using Google Glass? Driving takes a good deal of attention, and sure, the head-mounted idea seems better than texting on a phone, but it’s still a distraction. The screen can project directions, but right there in your field of vision in front of the legit road.
What’s most freaky is how insular this technology makes the user. It’s complete, futuristic isolation. The device has many benefits, yes, in terms of basic utilities, but many of these things don’t need an update. However rad, the Google Glass experience is really bad for human interaction, and will make boring droids out of us all. Taking a picture can and should be done with one’s hands, and you can look up a recipe on a computer (or in a book you guys) a minute before cooking, not mid-frying. Google Glass will make us even more dependent and make it harder for us human beings to do basic things that we unfortunately need computers for. And also, if it get’s a virus, that’s robot overlords 1, your weak little mind 0.