Living in Glass Houses
By now you’re aware of Google Glass.
There’s no question that it’s very impressive technology, and something like it will almost assuredly be a part of our future.
For now, however, I don’t see Google Glass as being something that will become as widely adopted as the mobile phone, even though it may be just as useful, and that’s for one reason:
While many people look at the image below (what it looks like to use Glass) and become giddy with excitement…
…methinks just as many will look at it and recall the following image:
If you’re a certain age or better, you’ll remember this as the view through the eyes of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator android from the movie franchise of the same name.
And the fact that Google’s operating system bares the name Android… well, it just kind of ups the creep-factor for me.
It’s like that old commercial for Eternity cologne… the vapid model declares to his mate: “I can’t tell where you end and I begin…” or something to that effect. Much of our country’s youth already has that relationship with technology. It’s only natural to them. They have no memory of a world without the Internet, absent of the devices that keep them constantly connected to the mainframe. Glass, to them, is just a natural progression– our own impact on the evolution of humankind.
But to those of us with the perspective of having that memory, it can be… well, quite honestly a bit unnerving. Our inherent ability to connect as people is already undergoing a paradigm shift. Try to think of a functional aspect of modern life in America that doesn’t rely on the presence of a technological umbilical cord. Hell, some people have even gone so far as to have RFID chips embedded under their skin and QR codes tattooed onto the same. As our relationships to these devices become more intimate, our relationships to each other become less so. They may make life easier, but they can also start to drain away the things that make life… life. In my opinion, we as people NEED to detach occasionally. To be human, be it good, bad or ugly, with other humans.
…And of course, there’s the inherent risk of being seen as a “glasshole.” Sorry for sounding crass, but this recently-minted phrase definitely applies in many cases.
If you haven’t seen Fred Armisen’s awesome sendup of these early adopters, it’s definitely worth a view or three.
Apple, on the other hand, may just be developing the device that will ease us into this next phase of morphing man with machine in the form of its rumored iWatch. It’s not quite as intrusive and cyborg-esque as Glass, and would certainly be adopted at a much faster rate. Apple tends to hold onto such technology until they get it right. We’ll see.
Let us know how you feel about Glass, and what kind of impact it may have on society.
As for me… I’ll be back. 😉