I have been seeing several reports about a recent survey by YouGov that shows people are not too excited about actually wearing Google Glass and interacting with people who are wearing the glasses. Yes, the glasses do look goofy and it can be socially awkward for people but I think people are reading too much into this survey and worrying about their looks. Google Glass is the first practical wearable computer that has came out. The technology is in its early stages of development. Like other items in history of technology, this will take time to develop and have people adopt the new technology. Someone has to be first in the field and Google is doing just that with the glasses.
I am more concerned with the future of having wearable computing power. It is exciting to think of the possibilities of such items. It can be as simple as using Google Glass to take a pictures or video. It can be more complex as a small computer to help someone to regain their eye sight. It may be slow at first, but naturally, as the technology advances and software gets developed, wearable computers will become popular. There are two things that the glasses need to be accomplished to win the public over.
The first one is the development of software including how people will interact with the information provided by the software. The availability of software will come with time. The process of developing software will improve once Google’s release of the Glass Developer Kit. I am interested to see how the developers handle the information streams of certain applications. For example, some users following lot of people on their twitter streams creating a constant flow of the twitter streams leading to information overload. The number of headlines or twits that can come in view should be limited, or managed somehow to help with the amount of information that the user will see. Maybe the applications can interact with the user’s smart phones. If the user sees a news headline and they want to read the article, they can highlight the headline and the Google Glass can send the article to the phone.
The second thing that Google has to overcome is the privacy concerns that people have with the phone. It should not be too much concern in public settings with all the video devices that are around us already. Also, it is in public setting where people should realize that everything that they do is out in the open. Google did put some effort into letting other people know when the person is recording or taking pictures by having a white light in front of the glasses recording and having the user do a gesture. Maybe having a little red light or a camera shutter sound would help ease people’s concern but over all, it still should not be a big concern for people.
As time passes, I do have curiosity to see how Google will deal with the fashion side of the things with this technology. Is Google willing to push to get past the consumer’s mindset and win them over? I hope that the Google Glass is not a piece of technology that Google will abandon in a few years when they do their house cleaning. If demand is high enough, they probably keep it around. I hope that Google can see far enough in the future to see potential of these technologies and get past the fashion issues causing push back now. Google needs to work to make their Glass fashionable.
The Glass is early in the its life cycle, so it is hard to say where Google Glass will lie in technology history, but we will see. With style and privacy concerns, Google has some issues and concerns to work with but, with effort, they will get through it. At the very least, Google has paved the way for others to pursue the technology. I am sure that Google will treat the glasses similar their automotive technology and keep it going. It should pay off in the future. It will be interesting to see how the wearable technology will be developed and see how humans interact with the constant stream of information. Looking at how people handle modern technology, I am sure that will adapt some how.