Tuesday - Jan 26, 2021

Have You Seen Google Glass?

google glass hype

Google Glass is a wearable device that can connect to the Internet using voice-control. Google promised that this device would change the way we would interact with computers and with each other. However, it has received harsh reviews, there are a  lot of complaints about the product. It is said to be useless in it's current form.  There is a long list of problems concerning the device, including short battery life, too heavy to wear, and its interface needs improvement.  However, technical concerns are not the only issues, Google also has to answer  the criticism surrounding moral and ethical issues concerning the device..

Ethical Issues

After the glasses were released, critics started to surface. Writer Ed Champion made a list of problems concerning the device in a catalogue called “35 arguments against Google Glass.” The list contains problems as little as conversation distractions to personal data collection that could invade other people’s privacy.

Perhaps one of the most critical concerns is from the London-based privacy advocacy group Stop the Cyborgs. They wrote in their blog that the device will make it easier for lawyers, corporations and authorities to take footage of people through the relevant electronic communication act.

Society Issues

Besides invasion of privacy, there are people who see the device as a status symbol for the wealthy. Just last February, Sarah Slocum, a social media consultant, was aggressively approached in a  bar while wearing Google Glass. A woman who tried to snatch the device off of Slocum said, “you are killing society”


One of the biggest issues concerning Google Glass is how users could easily take photos or record videos without other people’s consent. This covert video and photo capture has led to some locations like bars and restaurants prohibiting the device from their establishments. This hostility has even provoked people to nickname the device, “glasshole.” This label is used to describe people who use the device but do not respect other people’s personal space.  

Going against the norms

One of the biggest obstacle that Google has to face is going against the norms and traditions. Turning the glasses into a mainstream product that  will be  acceptable is one of the major challenges facing Google. People are rooted to the traditional way of interacting with one another, and Google Glass may disrupt this. 

Develop a new etiquette

It is hoped that people will create a new etiquette for using a wearable device during social situations. But it will take time for the public to develop an etiquette that will make this new technology acceptable. The general population will need to create standards or unwritten rules on when and were to use the device without stepping outside what is considered polite.

Studies show  that people who use Google Glass are more distracted compared to someone who uses a mobile phone while interacting with others. For this divice to be a success, it needs to be as unobtrusive as possible, because people naturally look at the eyes of others to judge their feelings.  Google has been working towards changing the shape of their Glasses and have announced a new  version which is more subtle and based on  traditional glasses frame.

Evolution of society’s norms

According to a Microsoft principal researcher Bill Buxton, society’s norms will evolve for wearable technologies like the Glass, just like the use of mobile phones. However, just like mobile phones, this new norms will take time to develop, he said.  

Google recently responded to “glasshole” by releasing a list of dos and don’ts when wearing the device in public. The company also released a blog titled “Top Ten Google Glass Myths,” which aims to address the issues concerning the product.


Many commentators are asking if Google Glass will flop as a mainstream divice.  However, there are  die hard sceptics  who believe that the general public will eventually accept wearable technology.  It is thought that within  the next ten years the wearable computer will be  accepted and become a device we can't live without  same as our smart phones.