We usually assume new technology will make our lives easier and more convenient. The omnipresence of Google Glass is likely to throw us a few curve balls, however.
‘Augmented reality glasses’ means a tiny screen right in front of your eyeball. Much like your smartphone, Google Glass displays online information in a hands-free format that interacts with the Internet via natural language voice commands. With this device recording video, taking a picture, accessing your email, or plotting directions will now happen inches from your cornea and without the need for a single click or swipe. And we’re not talking about decades from now–many predict Google Glass will hit consumer markets by the end of 2013.
The glasses look like something straight out of Mission Impossible, and predictions about how they could make life easier (or much, much more complex) are just as sensational. Let’s take a look at a few…
A Facebook status update after a blind date from hell is one thing, but what if the blow-by-blow analysis was delivered during the date? With Google Glass, we’ll have the ability to post on social media or even live stream our activities without detection. What’s worse, that guy who seems oh-so-interested in your story about saving a baby bird when you were six might actually be nodding and smiling at an episode of Duck Dynasty instead. Thanks to Google Glass, even eye-contact might lose its meaning.
With Google Glass’ ability to capture, share, and message with only verbal commands, an instant is all that’s needed to capture your coworker picking his nose or pinching pens from the supply closet. Even worse, it’ll take more than firewalls and nosy bosses to make sure employees are actually working at work: Jane’s face may be glued to that quarterly report, but you’d never know that her eyes are actually watching the season finale of Top Chef. On the flip side, it’ll be virtually impossible to stop your workaholic husband from checking company email while on vacation. Good thing the threat of information leaks means Glass is likely to be banned from most offices. And bathrooms. And movie theaters. And concerts. And…
Glasses can be cute if you’re going for the sexy librarian style, but they’re not for everyone. With the debut of Google Glass however, face decor is likely to become as omnipresent as phones and wristwatches. So how does one plan an outfit around Borg-like cranial accessories? Well, you’ll be glad to know that Google already plans to offer them in an array of colors (Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, Cotton, and Sky), and The New York Times reports that Google is in talks with eye-wear designer Warby Parker to develop “more fashionable frames.”
You know that fantasy you have about commanding the laundry to fold itself? Well, Glass can’t do that, but if rumors are any indicator, it’ll definitely give you power over inanimate objects. Google recently applied for a patent that would enable a wearable computer with a head-mounted display (aka Glass) to control physical objects like refrigerators, espresso machines, and garage doors. The patent describes how with the help of sensors, RFID, Bluetooth, and QR codes, the wearable computer could detect everyday objects and project an augmented reality user interface onto them, explains SF Gate.
Putting the screen two inches from your eye is only a hop, skip and a jump away from implanting that sucker directly into your cornea. And you know where it goes from there…So tell us: are you ready to plug your brain stem directly into the Google mainframe?