By Mrs Fett
It’s been three months since I have started using Google Glass. Since that time, my Glass has become a natural daily appendage, and way more useful than my appendix. My glass learns who I am, behavioral patterns, food patterns, repetitive interests, food preferences. But it wasn’t until recently, that a seamless, and great technologically advanced experience, turned into fear for my safety, paranoia, and discrimination.
It seems that the latest major update, and the recent announcement inviting new explorers into the Glass program by public sale, brought more than just more explorers…Stories have been popping up everywhere, about new explorers, using Glass to record, document, or otherwise invade privacy on multiple accounts.
I became used to people approaching me about my Glass. The most frequent question being “What are you seeing right now!” as they become inches from my face trying to see an image in the small cube on my face. I would tell them the amazing features, and uses of the new device, and how it can impact the future for many different areas, and fields.
Now, I am met with faces of fear and disgust, even going so far as denying me service in stores. The most notable experience was at a Bubba Gump in San Francisco CA. Upon entering the gift shop, I was denied service by the cashier, stating he would only validate my parking IF, I take off Google Glass, and never put it on again! Confused, I asked him why he would ever say such a thing, and what he knew about them. He stated he knew nothing about what they actually DO, he just saw some things in the news, and saw that restaurants and bars locally had decals in their windows stating Google Glass was not allowed.
So what is the cause of this mass paranoia, and how do we stop it? Cell phones with cameras created the same reaction when they were first released, and now, are not only a necessity in everyday life, but an imperative part of the mobile development process for any company. If the fear comes from unwanted recording, when does violence towards those become the expression that it is unwanted in that establishment?
Google released an official statement regarding these attacks, and the steps they would like to see Explorers use in handling them. Simple guidelines, like, “If a person is curious, don’t snub your nose and walk away, talk to them, and inform them about the product you are wearing.” If cell phones are not allowed to record where you are at, than Glass is not allowed to either. Pretty simple rules to follow.
I don’t see Glass being on the head of every adult in the next ten years, and I don’t see them causing the IRL SkyNet. I do see them as a tool for intimidation, and shady behavior if they are being used the wrong way. But that is in the user. Not the tech on their face. This discrimination needs to stop here.