I am almost certain I am not the only one who has noticed that the development of new technology basically means making it smaller than the predecessor and with a few extra bells and whistles. For example, the mobile phone was an invention that was perfected with the invention of a phone small enough to be stored in your pocket, a battery life that would get you through the day and the ability to either directly call someone or send them a message for them to reply to when they are less busy working, driving or jerking it to pictures of Emma Watson… though at that point in time, Emma Watson was still learning to do long division so if you were jerking it to her at that point, you have serious issues. However, as time went on someone decided that this wasn’t enough for us and that we needed to carry the internet in our pocket, as well as thirteen thousand different games to play, an app that directs us to the nearest sushi bar and another app that does impressions of various guns and or fart noises. I don’t remember voting on this and whilst I can see the convenience in carrying a portable and cheap internet browser everywhere I go, I’ve yet to see why I would need to quickly impersonate a farm animal or auto-tune my conversations unless I was taken hostage by the Gregory Brothers.
The latest high-tech thingamajig that everyone is discussing, aside from games consoles that never stop watching you, is the new trendy eye-wear Google Glass. Google Glass is a pair of sci-fi spectacles that respond to audio and physical commands by the user and work as a camera, camcorder and of course an internet browser. I’ll be one of the many who say that Google is trying to deliver on the kind of technology we all see in films and secretly want, much in the same way I’d sell a member of my own family for that computer from Iron Man. Fundamentally, for all our talk of a new age of technology we haven’t had anything revolutionary since it all became wireless and since then it’s just been it is either smaller, bigger, slightly faster or can now be used to stream movies or order pizza. Google Glass hopes to up the ante entirely as being technology you can wear and won’t ever need to physically interact with, aside from winking to take photos and talking to do things. I’m also curious why technology went through this weird detachment from keyboards to touchy-feely bits and bobs and now it has decided touchy-feely is best left to the past and now we need never even touch our computers to use them, as if all computers are essentially prostitutes with guilt complexes.
I will give credit where credit is due, Google Glass is genuinely something new as opposed to iPhone Y, which is a larger X and smaller than a Z. However, is it really going to catch on? The iPhone and it’s ever-so-similar competitors held our interest for so long because they appeal to this apparent human fascination with quirky little gadgets and then along came tablets and notebook computers and we accepted them as this new medium between the nifty little phone and the big old laptop. Google Glass is a piece of dorky facial gear but it can take photos of what your looking at (Of which, I can see a dozen problems with) and the moment you mention a place or person of interest, you’re suddenly viewing the Wikipedia page related to the subject. I’m a cynical man and I’m really not too sure if people want this but then there will always be an audience for anything and critics for the very same. I won’t claim to be an expert in this field but I’ll look at what is presented to me and go from there shall I?
Ok, so wearing the technology makes it entirely hands-free and easy to keep on your person to be used at any given moment plus the fact that Google Glass can take physical cues from the movement of your own face. I can see the advantages here, blink to take a photo rather than having to reach for a camera and learn what you need to know about anything just by asking your facial gear on a whim. However, Google Glass has a lot of disadvantages that you can’t shake off too easily:
1. You are wearing hundreds of pounds of technology on your face, a visual indicator of your disposable income and the equivalent to wearing a sign saying ‘Please feel free to mug me, I’m very rich’
2. A phone is distracting enough but you can put it away when you don’t need it, Google Glass could spend a whole day just sat on your face and if you get used to it being there you’re likely to forget you’re wearing it and idly open up internet tabs on your own face
3. How rude would you look? Friends talking to you but you’re busy reading an internet fan-fiction or looking up random topics of interest just because you can. I personally wouldn’t want to strike up a conversation with a Glass-user, I’d forever be worried I’m boring them when they can quite easily ignore me and just read the news instead
4. Google Glass could be used in so many dishonest ways. How often do you actually notice someone blink? How can you be certain you aren’t secretly being photographed by some fat-wallet totting creep? A man such as myself isn’t much at risk but perhaps you fancy yourself the good looking sort but not the sort that wants to be part of a randomer’s wank bank. Sounds silly, the internet has taught us that there are people out there who will polish their pork swords to anything, be it a pony or a passing broad
5. On a more serious privacy issue, Google Glass can be used to connect to the internet and who’s to say that everyone has innocent intentions for this device? Record an incriminating video using your own eyes and then upload it to the internet or ask for a lot of money from someone to not do so. All too easy to stumble in someone changing, catch it on Glass and share the picture with all their friends and family as a cruel joke.
I’m being harsh but I’m just thinking that every step forward we take in an age of technology enhances our ability to be wicked and petty towards one another. Google Glass has become the lightning rod for criticisms and it’s not entirely fair on them because they are trying. Adult content will be inaccessible on the headset which is good because I for one have never pondered the faces my friends pull when they are enjoying their happy time and I know people wouldn’t do that in the presence of company but come on… it’ll happen to someone at some point if Google don’t make it a family friendly gadget. The device is voice activated anyway so the wrong word in the wrong place could bring up all sorts and I for one would have endless fun walking up behind people on Glass then setting off voice commands for hardcore porn then running away, unless Glass recognises the voice of the user as it’s one true master in which case double darn to my pranking plans.
Inevitably, this product will sell to someone and it may even catch on. I never expected the tablet to be popular, calling it the fat brother of the phone but with the worst of both ends like a trike – get caught in the rain and you can’t slip past cues of traffic. However, it did and so maybe Google Glass will too and things will keep moving until we reach Deus Ex and suddenly my own eyeballs double up as searchlights and my penis comes with twelve vibration settings and 32GB of memory
I never expected to ever say that