Editorials, Opinions

Our View: Google ‘Glass-holes’ see problems outside of privacy

If you’ve ever seen a futuristic sci-fi film, then you may have been anticipating a world in which mere humans could view the world through the eyes of robots. If this is something you have longed for in the past, then today welcomes you into the future because today, Google Glass is available to the masses for a mere $1,500, according to Gadget Cluster online.
Though we think the Google Glass seems a little weird, writers at TechCrunch have officially labeled the product, “terribly, terribly cool stuff.”
What is Google Glass, you may be asking? The Google product is basically a pair of glasses that project smart-phone-type, computer images directly in the wearer’s line of vision. In other words, Google has created a computer that we can wear just like glasses.
The design of the glasses have evolved a great deal, since the New York Times first wrote about “Project Glass.” The NY Times has since described the eye wear as “a very polished and well-designed pair of wrap-around glasses with a clear display that sits above the eye.” The same article hinted at an upcoming offshoot called, “Project Contact Lens.”
This all seems too good to be true, but let’s revisit the market price for these top-of-the-line glasses. Today, for a limited time only, the glasses are available “to the masses” for $1,500. “To the masses?” More like, to the upper-classes.
Google’s ‘eye-robot’ will only be worn, at least for the time being, by anyone who has piles of money to spare. Like any product in the free market, the price of these glasses will adjust as competition emerges, but we worry that Google has dominated the playing field for this line of product as it has the internet.
Along with our concerns about limited access to this product, we also worry that there will be no practical means of legislating these constantly-evolving glasses. It is no secret that regulating the internet alone has posed significant challenges to legislators due to the fact that the web changes and develops faster than laws can be written and broken through the political gridlock.
If a significant number of individuals begin wearing wireless computers that “they can talk to,” in laymen’s terms, in order to conduct a Google search, we feel that the legislative obstacles for the internet will be compounded.
On top of that, there are Google Glass designs that allow wearers to attach the Google lens to their prescription glasses, which means if a person is driving while wearing their computers, and say perhaps, streaming Netflix on the go, would police officers and highway patrol be able notice? There are laws regulating the use of cellphones while operating vehicles, but that doesn’t necessarily stop drivers from hiding the fact that they do so anyway.
It’s possible that the existing laws enforcing the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle will apply to Google Glass before it hits the domestic market. With the wave of new high-tech gadgets every year, regulations fall into place through a process of trial and error.
The main controversy surrounding Google Glass is the issue of “privacy.” There is a fear that Google glass users could discreetly record or take photos, but that is not entirely true. Many places have already placed strict regulations on Google Glass usage, such as movie theaters and restaurants. As creepy as it may be to toy with the idea that we could all be recorded without our knowledge, it is still legally viable in a public place.
We feel that Google Glass poses significant challenges, and also some dangers, to wearers and non-wearers alike. We love the idea of the product — who doesn’t want to see Iron Man-style gadgets come to life? We just worry that Google has overstepped in its determination to lead the Digital Age, and we hope to read more in the near future about the practical concerns we have raised.
We like Google, we don’t want to have to think it is a corporation of elitist ‘glass-holes.’

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter