Project Glass by Google

It’s amazing how much of the future will be brought to us by people who once claimed “don’t be evil” as their corporate motto, who now essentially require the forfeiture of all privacy in the name of cool gadgets.

Seriously, I’m simultaneously excited and horrified by this idea. First, that your privacy would all but be entirely subject to the security of the servers of this corporation whose prime revenue stream is selling you to advertisers; second, that these people, by virtue of their revenue stream are already questionable arbiters of your privacy; and third, that your bloody glasses could get hacked and take pictures of things without your knowledge. Seriously, I’d have to take off or turn off any such things any time I went to the bathroom for fear that some malicious entity might exploit a hole in my glasses’ OS to snap a picture of my pecker. But at the same time, you’d have a fucking computer heads-up display in your glasses! How’s that for augmented reality?

What are your thoughts on this horrifawesome idea?

Project Glass by Google
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14 thoughts on “Project Glass by Google

  1. 1

    I already have to conveniently “lose” my phone if I don’t want to talk to people. This is just too much. There’s something to be said about not always being connected and available.

  2. 2

    I tend to think we’ll keep moving toward the social state in David Brin’s novel Earth: privacy will not only not exist, it will be considered socially wrong and taboo. We’re in an evolutionary arms race between big corporations and governments on one side and Anonymous and Wikileaks on the other.

  3. 3

    The privacy issues are questionable, there was nothing there that looked specifically non-compulsory but given google’s tendencies lately I dare say nothing is safe if they can make a buck off it.

    The first thing that came to mind though was that it’ll be dangerously distracting & will HAVE to be forbidden for things like driving. And there’s no way in hell that’ll stop fuckwits from using it, if they text whilst driving now, with these things they’ll be playing ‘angry birds eye edition’. Add some tech to turn the thing off when you’re moving at more than a metre a second and it might be okay.

  4. 4

    There is nothing here in Google that could not be done in linux or crowd-sourced. Problem is, hackers who do open source and crowd sourcing tend to have a very dim view of non-techie end-users, seriously hampering adoption. Whatever corp makes it easy to use, and easy to cretae for is going to determine the next big revolution in personal computing.

  5. 5

    That assumes that by the time this becomes a marketable product(s) manual driving hasn’t become forbidden (or otherwise restricted) in favor of self-driving cars.

    I could see those being a wireless accessory for a smartphone. That would minimize the circuitry and battery requirements that would weight down your glasses. That way there’s also a preexisting repository of code, programs and seasoned developers, the only thing new and different is the HUD element and maybe the flavor of wireless connectivity. Also, you’d be able to power off your glasses for privacy and still have all the same functionality at your fingertips with your smartphone.

    Nitpick: There’s no way he’d get a picture that clear with his head bobbing around that much while taking it.

  6. 6

    Reminds me of a short story I’d planned out once where the protagonist is constantly harassed by the computer saying “You have not updated your Cityface* account recently. Please do so to remain connected with friends, family and colleagues. Cityface: connecting you with the City.”

    *I thought this up around the time I got disillusioned with Farcebook and got rid of it.

  7. 7

    It’s a cool gadget, though I don’t really see how a HUD is significantly better than, say, a smartphone screen, and it would be significantly more prone to irresponsible use (while driving, walking, or doing anything else, really – the convenience it offers is simultaneously its best and worst feature). As for privacy, except for the built-in camera always reflecting your visual field while wearing the glasses (they could integrate a physical switch that couldn’t be remotely cracked to cut the A/V connection – this isn’t a difficult problem to address), I don’t see that it raises any additional concerns beyond the smartphone in one’s pocket right now. So, cool, but actually making and selling these things would be a very bad idea, as I’m quite confident people would be very irresponsible with their use. Also, I probably wouldn’t buy one, but then I also don’t see the appeal of the iPad, and I have no strong desire to replace my nearly-four-year-old phone either.

  8. 8

    Well, in a car, the heads-up display could (I said could) be used with GPS to let you see other cars ahead of you on the road, and around obstructions. It could show you the road and other cars if it there is dense fog. It could show you accidents and avoid them.

    Of course, this would only work if people use it responsibly.

    From my experiences with people with walkmans and cellphones, they can’t be trusted to be responsible to sit in a restauraunt and talk quietly on the phone, let alone get in a car with one.

  9. 9

    This is cool and frightening at the same time.

    I remember first hearing about this via old skool tabletop roleplaying, especially with the Transhuman Space books for GURPS, and it also raised the privacy issues.

    But those would not exist in a society with de facto no privacy and as constantly connected to the Web as present day homes are to telephone lines and a power grid.

  10. 11

    There was a short story I read once where people had chips in their shoes that identified them, and as they passed by stores personalized ads would pop up in holographic glasses they were wearing. It was punishable by jail time if you tried to go out in public without the chip, because targeted advertising basically owned government.

    We’re really not far from that now.

  11. GW

    My take on this mostly stupid idea is here:

    I can imagine a better thought out version of this being good for legally blind people, but us “normal” folks already have MORE than enough digital distractions to keep us occupied (and about a half foot from being a street pancake for most folks)…

  12. 13

    While I can imagine some potential good uses for this technology, a lot of stuff shown in the video is idiotic or potentially dangerous:

    – I would definitely not want dancing icons popping up in front my eyes while I’m pouring hot coffee

    – the dude lives in a city where all the streets and avenues are numbered yet he needs a real time map just to walk somewhere only 12 blocks away in his own neighbourhood (!)

    – checking in online that he is at some lunch truck? Whatever for? Who could possibly care? Unless he has to notify his parole officer or something…

  13. ik


    Like basically all privacy concerns this will be worried about, panicked about, and then be a total anticlimax because most people don’t actually like privacy, even though they claim they do.

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