Google tries to debunk Google Glass myths

Google tries to debunk Google Glass myths
March 21 22:30 2014 Print This Article

Google tries to debunk Google Glass myths

In an attempt to temper down the criticisms surrounding its Google Glass, the “don’t be evil” company has published a list of 10 Google Glass myths Google tries to prove untrue. However, its obviously defensive tone and the way they flatter themselves seem to create more questions (and possibly hate).

Myth 1 – Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world – Google contends that Google Glass makes you experience, and record, life as it happens instead of looking down to your mobile devices. “Big moments in life — concerts, your kid’s performances, an amazing view — shouldn’t be experienced through the screen you’re trying to capture them on.”

While that can be true, Google glossed over the actual reason why it is called an “ultimate distraction” in the first place: driving. A Google Glass Explorer, a beta tester who paid $1,500 just to try out the device, was cited by the California Highway Patrol for allegedly operating her Glass while driving. That charge has since been dismissed after the judge said there is not enough evidence to determine whether the arrested Explorer’s Glass was turned on at the time. (Glass does not have a LED indicator that it is turned on, while Google claims the wearer has to look up to view the Glass display.)

Myth 6 – Glass covers your eye(s) – In a very defensive tone, Google states: “Before jumping to conclusions about Glass, have you actually tried it?” While the device’s screen is designed to sit above the right eye, there have been instances when the screen is placed on the upper half of the eye. This is coming from Explorers who have tried the Glass.

Myth 9 – Glass is banned… EVERYWHERE – Another exaggerated Google Glass myth. Some establishments have imposed a ban on Google Glass to prevent wearers from secretly recording video. Meanwhile, a number of states are considering banning the device from being used while driving, much like cell phones. So it’s not really EVERYWHERE.

Google even says: “Just bear in mind, would-be banners: Glass can be attached to prescription lenses, so requiring Glass to be turned off is probably a lot safer than insisting people stumble about blindly in a locker room.” One guy did exactly that, fitting the Glass on his prescription lenses, walked to a cinema and ended up being questioned by FBI. The wearer insisted the Glass was turned off, but the FBI agent was not convinced until the Glass was hooked up to a laptop and had all images downloaded.

Myth 10 – Glass marks the end of privacy – Google cited how people went paranoid over the “end of privacy” when cameras became available in the market in the late 19th Century, adding that there will be more cameras in 10 years.

Matt Peckham of Time magazine says it best: “Is it really enough to wave off privacy concerns by looking backwards? Is the widespread adoption of something validation enough? Plenty would disagree. You could argue (and in fact many have), for instance, that pervasive camera networks like Britain’s unprecedented CCTV system are Orwell’s future dystopia by any other name.”

“Google Glass might not be ‘the ultimate distraction,’ but just like cellphones, it could be if used improperly, and who’s going to enforce its proper use? It might not be on and recording all the time today, but what about more powerful future versions down the road? It doesn’t do facial recognition at Google’s behest, but what about tomorrow? And for all Google’s assurances about curating its application store to control what people can do, what happens when people start jailbreaking these things?”

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