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Fifty people on the bus might be Glassless, but if a single person wearing Glass gets on, you – and all 49 other passengers – could be recorded.Not just for a temporary throwaway video buffer, like a security camera, but recorded, stored permanently, and shared to the world. And Google has the capacity to combine Glass with other technologies it owns.Seeing your bitstreams floating in the air in front of you, it would seem, is an ecstatic experience. (For a more accurate exploration of Glass-enabled distraction, see this darkly comic parody video.Even edgier is this parody – warning, some spicy language.) As if all that wasn’t enough, Google Glass comes with yet another, even more important feature: Today, finally, that future has arrived: a major company offering the ability to record your life, store it, and share it – all with a simple voice command.
Anything you say within earshot could be recorded, associated with the text, and tagged to your online identity. Most people got over it, because they got a nice Street View feature in Google Maps as a result.
Now, I know the response: “I’m recorded by security cameras all day, it doesn’t bother me, what’s the difference? First, take the video feeds from every Google Glass headset, worn by users worldwide.
Regardless of whether video is only recorded temporarily, as in the first version of Glass, or always-on, as is certainly possible in future versions, the video all streams into Google’s own cloud of servers.
Google seems to have calculated this already and recently announced a partnership with Warby Parker, known for its designer glasses favored by the all-important younger demographic. For people who delight in a deluge of digital distractions, this is more exciting than a smartphone, which forces you back to the boring offline world, every so often, when you put the phone away. In fact, in a feat of considerable chutzpah, Google is attempting to pitch Glass as an to distraction, since users don’t have to look down at a phone.
(My own proposal, posted the day before, jokingly suggested that Google look into monocles.) Except for the awkward physical design, the experience of using Google Glass has won high praise from reviewers. Right, because now the distractions are all conveniently placed directly into your eyeball!