Google Glasses: emerging technology

Jesse Baxter

Augmented reality glasses sound like something from a science fiction movie. With over a year before Google releases a prototype, Google Glasses will be a reality. Project Glass was revealed on August 4th, 2012, and a consumer version is planned for 2014. While this technology has many advantages there is also the potential for misuse by Google.

Google Glasses are wearable computers with an integrated display in the top right corner. This is activated by looking up and to the right, initializing the display. The Glasses are hands free and can be accessed with head movements due to a camera, or by voice commands. They are powered by a small battery inside the frame that has a life of about six hours, which Google hopes to increase to an entire day. The operating system is a variation of the Android system designed for the Glasses.

Google Glasses have many functions, they can take videos and photos which can be uploaded and instantly shared with friends or family, and have the ability to video chat with others as well as being able to access the internet. Another feature is Google Maps, which will be incorporated into the project allowing directions on-the-go. One of the primary functions of the glasses are information, providing information about one’s surroundings or storing information that is wanted. For example, one would see a notification if the subway in front of them was closed, or could store notes and voice recordings for later use.

While Google Glasses have many interesting features, they also have disadvantages. Although developers do not plan to include ads, it would be possible with such technology to send them directly to the glasses. Another negative possibility concerning Google Glasses is that it would be possible to track where people are and what they see when they use the glasses. Although this will probably never happen, it is still possible and should be kept in mind.

These glasses can also be a safety issue for a lot of people. If worn while driving these glasses could cause disastrous results. Look at how many people die while driving due to cell phones. Driving isn’t the only concern, these glasses may be distracting so that people could get harmed by walking into danger. For example, if someone was video chatting and walked in front of a bus, the distraction the glasses caused would cost them their life.

Google Glasses are augmented reality glasses, providing information about surroundings as well as performing other functions such as video chatting, providing directions, among others. I think that these glasses are the next step in technology because they increase integration of technology into aspects of daily life. However, with the increase of technology into daily life, the risks also increase as it is easier to violate freedoms and misuse technology. I feel that overall Google Glasses are will benefit society, yet we should not become dependent on such technology and be watchful of the companies that create such technology. They have not been tested on a wide scale and it is unknown how the public will act when they are released.