An Open Letter to Google Glasses Pioneers: Prepare to Be Punched in the Eye!

Hi there, Google Glasses Pioneer!

This is an open letter warning you to put down your Google Glasses if you care about the health of your eyes and the prosperity of your soul.  Those glasses are going to cost you a lot more than $1,500.00USD because your face is going to pay the price for prying into the public, everyday, lives of those all around you.  Nobody will trust you.  Everyone will suspect you are recording their every move — even if you are not — but because you can!  Be thankful for universal Obamacare — because you are going to need it with the rising year.  This is not a call for violence against you; this is a call out that violence will be waged against you.

Sure, the idea of having the weather and other information appear before your eye is neat, but the Panopticonic effort of Google Glass to record and share precisely what you’re seeing with the rest of the world is going to get you into massive trouble on the street.

The assumption will be that anyone wearing Google Glasses is recording everything.  We will have to behave as if you are recording us — because you might be recording us.  You may think that will be a good thing — a way to cudgel good behavior — but I’m telling you right now, you are making yourself weaker and more vulnerable because you are becoming a social networking rat with that glass on your eye watching us.

Police officers, teachers, PATH train conductors, lawyers and deadbeats on the street are but a few who will religiously attack your glasses first and ask questions later, because there are behaviors in public spaces that cannot, and must not, be recorded without the permission of the person you are recording.  Copyright is at issue.  So is piracy.  I can imagine these screaming headlines:

“Google Glasses Banned on Broadway!”

“Google Glass Refused Admittance to Movie Theatres!”

“Google Glasses Busted in the Classroom!”

“The TSA Says, ‘No Fly Zone’ for Google Glass!”

“Google Glasses Outlawed on Public Transit!”

Google Glasses set the permission to record solely in your eye, and that is going to cause you a lot of trouble — even if you have some sort of “red light” indicator that you are or are not recording, because people will always believe you are recording them no matter what — and a fist will soon be flying your way, because that’s what any sensible person would do to protect their privacy and perceived safety from your spying eye.  They will think you’re always recording because that’s what they would do to fully utilize every cent of the $1,500.00 they shelled out for the glass.

You, dear Google Glasses Pioneer, will not likely be allowed to wear your glass where people gather — I can imagine local laws forbidding their presence for “security reasons” — and so your precious glasses will be used mainly for private, masturbatory, moments of non-human interaction with other people.

The real problem for the rest of us will arise in a few years when this “Google Glass” technology becomes part of everyday prescription glasses and prescriptive sunglasses.  We won’t know who has the technology to record us and who does not — and so our only defense is to start recording, you, too — and keep punching everyone who wears glasses in the face.  Technology breeds violence!

Soon, “Google Glass” forensic scientists will appear in court to verify if the recordings are real, or invented, and manipulated.  Our first murder captured by Google Glass will be as infamous a meme as Edison’s first alleged “come here” response cry to Watson.  Good thing Google owns YouTube, too, eh?

Today, if you hold up a cellphone or a camera — you are giving people semi-fair warning that you are in “recording mode” and they will either respect your revulsive impulse or turn around and run the other way; but that sort of wild recording is not yet quite ubiquitous enough not to be noticed and confronted, and I can’t think of a single person I know who would prefer you to record your common interactions with them against their will by default and none without prior permission.

I hope there’s some sort of “AppleCare” for Google Glasses — because you early adopters are going to need to cash in on that insurance policy quite a bit as the rest of the world catches on, and catches up to, precisely what you’re not only seeing, but saving to your Google Cloud Drive forever.

124 comments

  • First I got notice of this via FB – not by email subscription – is WP working properly ?

    Sorry to say think these are a huge NO NO – and you are quite right they will lead to you being attacked and an increace in violence on the street.

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    • “New Post” emails have not arrived here yet, either, for this article. Sometimes they’re delayed and other times they just… don’t… show up. No idea why.

      As long as the Google Glasses look as they do now — they will be easily recognizable, but I can’t imagine anyone wearing them all the time by default — because people will repulse away from them. Who would want that glass staring back at you if you work in service position? They’ll have to take them off to have a real interaction with a real person.

      If someone tries to have a conversation with me wearing Google Glasses, I won’t punch them, but I will hold my hand over their glass eye peering back at me. I have no idea if these glasses capture sound or not, and if they do, I won’t be speaking to them, either.

      Can you imagine being recorded and saying to the wearer, “Please take off your Google Glasses and I’ll talk to you?” The wearer only need say, “What do you have to hide?” — and the conversation ends, even if the glasses are removed… guilty by default of a want for privacy…

      What concerns me is when the glasses are no longer so instantly recognizable. Then what? Everything we do gets logged and recorded? That’s going to cause a massive uproar when people begin to realize just how intrusive this technology will be on the rest of us.

      Like

  • Gordon Davidescu

    When Google Glass contact lenses eventually come out… everyone will be a suspect! Big brother will be you! Scary.

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    • That’s right, and we all know the Google Contact Lenses are coming. Someone will invent special glasses that will indicate who’s wearing those Google Contact Lenses and come up with some sort of anti-lens technology that will fuzz the immediate atmosphere around the wearer with electrical interference.

      Spinning this, many police departments already have dash cameras and some even wear video cameras on their uniforms that send recorded signals back to their patrol cars for recording. Google Police Glasses will be the default, in the name of Public Safety, and every interaction we have with the law — or any City or State or Federal employee — will be memorialized in “our file” forever. I don’t like this vision of the future.

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  • whoever thought this was a good idea – and what Gordon is saying is folowing on naturally – horrible thought. Cynical me says it this a way to get ALL of us to get google glasses so we are all on a level playingfield – because the only protection from them is to have them yourself.

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    • I’m sure that’s precisely what Google wants us to think: Well, to protect myself, I better start recording everyone, too! Google Glasses for everyone!

      When the idea of these Glasses first arrived, it was sort of neat to think about how having active information and email and weather presented seamlessly into the display of your day.

      Reading more and thinking about the next steps — you quickly begin to realize what a horrible thing these glasses are to us in the real time of our human lives — they will eat away any last bit of proprietary privacy we might hope to pinch from the world.

      Sadly, everyone will believe these Glasses are recording “The Truth” and will be seen as infallible, and you know that’s just when all the “reality deceptions” will begin as people see a way to make money and hurt people by “recording” a reality that never was, but that always shall be.

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      • I am really very uncomfortable with this concept and the direction it will inevitably go. I had never heard of these before today. Who will have access to what is recorded on these glasses – just the wearer transiently – or does it go to a home unit to be stored and reviewed – or will the dat be collected centrally by google and then be able to be viewed/bought by outside agencies

        We will in fact be becoming Big Brother . Start looking for your desert islands now folks .

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        • I agree it is SuperCreepy, Nicola — but right now people are in the “want one!” phase, and they aren’t taking the next, logical, step into the ubiquitous use of the technology… unless you’re of the mind “better me than them.”

          As I understand it — these glasses are pretty much an extension of your Google+ account. You can pull in email and weather and such, but you can also go the other way and make video calls and record your environment. Sharing will be determined by you as it is all stored in the cloud and put on your Google+ timeline.

          Here are the two important Google links I included in my article. The first one gives updates on real-world examples of the technology and the second is an interactive primer:

          https://plus.google.com/+projectglass/posts

          http://www.google.com/glass/start/

          Get ready to be invaded!

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          • I pulled my google plus account beause of the privacy issues and forced sharing of identities across all google applications .

            As you know my email account is under a psydonym that I no longer use publically but has been my gmail adress for many many years and is my primary email address. It ishowever part of my history. Creating a new email address and changing hundreds of subscriptions is going to be a night mare – so I switched it off !

            Desert Isalnd is definitely good – or maybe rural Africa will be my next move.

            We went to Andorra on our way back from Pau after Christmas and I bought some lenses for my camera for a very good price – it is a tax free country – we were offered one of the new sports cameras that you can strap to your head – a high end one that can be used for scuba diving and surfing etc – I can see the appeal for those – no we did not buy one.

            I can see cases where the police take them in evidence in disaster situations, crime situations , hummmmmmmmmmmmmm now the obvious questio here is what use could a terrorist make of them – maybe THAT will be enough to stop the march of the machines !

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          • That’s too bad you had to close your Google+ account. I’m all in on Google and if I had to pick only one social network moving forward, it would be Google+.

            In the article, I also linked a previous article I wrote about how you cannot take a simple photograph in the PATH train station today. Not in the train or in the station. At all! All part of “Homeland Security” and such; so you’re right to mention how will that policy be forced to change — because the policy will be unenforceable with the rise of this Google Glass technology.

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          • Things may change I have a second gmail account which I use for all things Portuguese – I could change that to my primary account and go that route – and it is one that uses my real name.

            Question – can you still record your environment with the glasses if they are clipped in your pocket or hung
            around your neck – or on the top of your head like my grandma used to do?

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  • I have absolutely no words. Technology is completely taking over and it is scary. Again, I probably never would have been aware of the glasses if I had not read this article. It is becoming way too easy to make a person nervous now.

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    • I can imagine movies houses and bookstores and other live performances banning Google Glasses outright — check them in if you want to check out what’s going on…

      The problem will come when this technology is embedded in everyday eyewear. People can then claim they need their “glasses” in order to see — and we’ll have to accept their default behavior that they are also watching us and recording us.

      I can imagine the first year or two as the original “Google Glasses” start appearing the street as self-anointed sentinels, checking their mail and the weather forecast, while checking us out on stored video. It’s going to make them a mark for a lot of unwanted attention for a long while…

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  • Nicola —

    I don’t think switching Gmail accounts would be too hard to do. You’d set up your new account to pull in all your old Gmail from your old account. Then you would just reply from your new account. Your old account would still be polled as a POP3 email account in your new account and the transition would be seamless to everyone. All new email would start from your new account moving forward and everyone who had your old email address wouldn’t know the difference unless they cared to notice.

    As I understand it, you would be able to record with the glasses in any position — a perfect fake out for, “Okay, I won’t record you wearing my glasses, I’ll just hold them in my hand and aim the camera at you from below.”

    How perfect would it be to “forget” your Google Glasses behind to surreptitiously record something to the cloud? You could leave them there, hidden, for days, and just check the uploaded recordings from home using the live stream recorded to your Google Drive.

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    • the major hassle would be changing all my email subscriptions to websites, official and non official – but nothing time and patience could not sort.

      So we are all going to be James Bond ! We are all going to spy on each other!

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      • Why would you have to change if they’re all being seamlessly delivered into your new Inbox?

        Yes, we’re all going to start ratting each other out — and we’ll have to play along… record along… because that will be the only way for a third party to verify the truth of what really happened. No more “he said, she said” but rather, “he recorded, she recorded…”

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        • True ………………..

          I seem to have recollection of a video short – might even have been a TV advert which was about perception – giving the view point of an incident from various bystanders – the tale told gave the impression that a crime had been committed – right until the last viewpoint.

          pressumably one can delete and edit what you record as well ……………. so third party is going to be vital.

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          • I wonder if the Google Glasses recordings will get the same storage philosophy as Gmail: “We’ll give you tons of free storage so you don’t have to delete anything!”

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          • and of course will they be able to use it ? just thinking of their use of other media like photographs etc and google street view.

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          • I’m sure they will be allowed to use it as they wish by default — even though they may not choose to do that — but if you want their Glasses, you will have to agree to their terms.

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  • Just thought of something else – will people be allowed to wear them while driving ? And quick register the patent for a google glasses detector for all the institutions that will not allow them !

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    • I would think people could wear them while driving because the current driving law is you must be “hands free” and the Glasses fit that niche.

      I think insurance companies will love Google Glasses — they currently have computer monitoring devices you can install on your car to get discounts for safe, proper driving and acceleration and obeying speed limits. Each month you send your insurance company your “computer driving record” to get the payout.

      With Google Glasses in action, Insurance companies will have open-eye proof of what happened — just like the current “Russian Car Crash Cameras” that are now installed in all cars to protect against false accident claims:

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  • I would think if you are driving there will have to be a record only mode so you are not distracted by other data arriving like mails etc ? Just like phones it is not only hands free that is needed – its distration free that is needed.

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  • Like other things before this we are running headlong into a new technology without having the moral and ethical/legal framework in place to deal with it .

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    • That’s exactly right. I can’t imagine police forces or hospitals or courtrooms or concerts or live entertainment shows or schools wanting anything to do with Google Glasses — and they will do everything within their power to curb active use of the technology.

      Like

  • I can see the legal cases already ………… I cannot see any government agency – from local government upwards wanting these things anywhere near them -from the refuse cleaner to the President. This one is going to be interesting to watch as it unfolds

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    • I’m sure the early adopters will simply say, “These glasses are no different than an iPhone. Anything I can do with my Google Glasses, I can already do with the phone I’m holding in my hand.”

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  • We are in sync again – I was mentally working through the differences/similarities between these and the latest generation of phones. The main one being that with a phone you have a hance to put up your hand in front of your face – or in front of the phone – which of course is where we started – people putting thier hand/fist in your face to disable the glasses .

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    • As technology shrinks, the problems associated with privacy grow. I can see this Glass technology in tiepins and brooches and rings — wouldn’t it be funny if the rumored iWatch has a camera that can record to the sky?

      Right now, cellphones are clunky and obvious and they can’t directly, and endlessly, record to the cloud.

      The trick about the glasses is that they behave like a third eye — and there’s the danger — we have created an extra sense for additional perception, and that’s what makes Google Glasses so fascinating and yet so problematic. We are enhancing who we are and what we can do — but in robotic and mechanical terms and not in the schema of the infallible and the human and the muscle-twitch limited.

      We are becoming greater than we were intended to physiologically be — and we don’t have any clue how to handle that non-human, never-ending, persistent perception of consciousness.

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  • I thought of rings – especially after I had read http://bolesblogs.com/2009/04/16/i-do-and-i-am-watching-you-too/ the other day. I am now thinking implants – and yes they are a third eye.

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  • Did not know about the bionic retinas – so not far away at all then.

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    • Yes, and once the Glass technology is embedded in us — as an assistive device — the whole game changes as it becomes a protected perception and artificial body part. Nobody will be able to outlaw it or control it or discriminate against it because it is us and who we have become as sentient beings.

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  • and we will all be controlable ………………. we mentioned caves a while back – that is looking like a good option too.

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  • implantation of false memories, we all become the machine – matrix style – Now going to make my cave comfortable !

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  • HA ! Google images says there are a lot of caves with doors – I have seen homes in rock in Turkey with doors so I would say at a stretch a shed under certain circumstances could be a cave !

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  • HA!

    This was just published:

    http://allthingsd.com/20130306/glass-vs-iwatch-comic/

    Someone’s reading this comments thread other than just us! SMILE!

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  • They have trouble finding us with Google Maps now – LOVE The cartoon !!!!!!!

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  • And so it begins:

    Wearable cameras and displays, such as the Google Glass, are around the corner. This paper explores techniques that jointly leverage camera-enabled glasses and smartphones to recognize individuals in the visual surrounding. While face recognition would be one approach to this problem, we believe that it may not be always possible to see a person’s face. Our technique is complementary to face recognition, and exploits the intuition that colors of clothes, decorations, and even human motion patterns, can together make up a “fingerprint”. When leveraged systematically, it may be feasible to recognize individuals with reasonable consistency. This paper reports on our attempts, with early results from a prototype built on Android Galaxy phones and PivotHead’s camera-enabled glasses. We call our system InSight.

    http://synrg.ee.duke.edu/papers/insight-final.pdf

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  • And it begins again…

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  • we are now entering the world of CSI and the body language mapping ………………. love the tweet

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    • This is all going to get really gnarly and uncomfortable. I can imagine two Google Glasses users on opposite ends of a restaurant stalking each other to see who can record the other one first while the rest of us have to deal with their technological preening.

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  • I can see the sale of spray paints increasing ………………………

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    • Or, like they used to do for Smokers — businesses will have to separate the Google Glasses groupies into private places in public spaces away from the rest of us so they can all stare at each other and record others recording them…

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  • UPDATE:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    One of the questions we hear the most is whether there will be a prescription solution for Glass. The short answer is: yes!

    The Glass design is modular, so you will be able to add frames and lenses that match your prescription. We understand how important this is and we’ve been working hard on it. Here’s a picture of +Greg Priest-Dorman, a member of the Glass team and an early pioneer in wearable computing, wearing one of the prototypes we’re testing.

    We’re still perfecting the design for prescription frames. Although the frames won’t be ready for the Explorer Edition’s release, hang in there — you can expect to see them later this year.

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  • NO NO NO NO ……………………………..Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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  • And of course the technology will get smaller as they progress – soon everyone will be peering at any hinges to see if they are or they are not the dreaded “Gee gees”

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  • not that at all – we need a phone with a light that comes on or flashed in the precence of the google glasses – that then gives you the CHOICE to stay or go ! It also gives the people who run live arts, Broadway plays , run concerts and have huge entertainment venues the option of refusing entry.

    Scan all your glasses before you enter the tube, the airport etc etc – there have to be huge security implications here …………….. either that or they will invent a jammer that prevent them from working.

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  • Will be interesting to see if they deal with this then – from a security point of view jamming would probably be the “easiest” – if the law prevents that – they are going to have to find a work around or change the law.

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    • I love the idea of jamming cellphones, but it hasn’t gone well here because the jammers can’t be individualized. They just blot out an entire area and affect even innocent users.

      Cinemas tried cellphone blocking to stop people from talking on the phone and texting during the movies — but it was quickly stopped and outlawed as interfering with the 911 emergency call system.

      I think the only people authorized to jam cellphones at will are the Secret Service in wide-block areas when the President is in the vicinity to prevent IED detonation by cellular phone.

      The thing with these Google Glasses is I think they record locally inside the device, and then when they find an internet connection, they upload the video, so there’s had to be some way to stop the glasses from ever being turned on in the first place.

      Like

  • Gaaaaaah!

    For good measure, Lamm has also installed a small green light on the front of his Glass renders that indicates when the headset is taking a picture or recording video so people are always aware when someone is filming them with their Glass headset.

    http://bgr.com/2013/03/13/google-glass-redesign-concept-372975/

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  • Green for GO ……………like sharp exit !

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  • West Virginia wants to outlaw Google Glasses while driving:

    (9) “Wearable computer with a head mounted display” means a computing device which is worn on the head and projects visual information into the field of vision of the wearer.

    http://goo.gl/mdgWf

    While a Seattle bar proactively bans Google Glasses before they’re even available:

    A Seattle bar has declared that ‘Google Glass’ (aka Google Glasses)–not yet available to the public–are banned “in advance” from the establishment.

    http://goo.gl/trzsk

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  • we saw it coming first !

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  • If enough people get proactive it will fall by the wayside hopefully ………

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  • Interesting to see the battle lines being drawn up …………………… the privacy lobby is very active and pretty sucessful in Europe especially – Italy has one of the strongest privacy laws in the world and the Paparazzi have very tough operating conditions and are frequently prosecuted and fined for breaking them.

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  • I am still not sure which is going to win – Google glass – or paranoia . when you first posted this article there were very few sources apart from google glass itself talking about the issues this raises – now it is everywhere ……………..

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    • The time to talk about it is right now. One advantage we have is that they will not immediately be available everywhere. The slow, exclusive, release of the $1,500.00 glasses will give people a chance to focus on them and how they will work in an open society. Will people be jealous of those who own these glasses, or will they be repulsed?

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  • I refer you to your tweet above ……………..”There is a kid wearing Google Glasses at this restaurant which, until just now, used to be my favorite spot.”

    I was just thinking the only way these will be ever accepted is if EVERYONE has a pair – that is the only way to stop the paranoia. That is never going to happpen.

    I worry for the people who do get them – as they are going to become the targets of all the paranoia and jealousy. They are going to become the new generation of must steal objects.

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    • I agree the early days will set the tone. You can hide an iPhone or an iPad to shield yourself from outside scrutiny. Google Glasses are right there for the world to see and instantly react to, and I can imagine crowds clearing as the Google Glass wearer struts down the street — but they’re moving away from the Panopticonic eye, not clearing out of respect.

      I’m sure there are elements on the street that would not want to risk being recorded — and they will proactively work to thwart the Glasses wearers.

      Google Glasses will be an elitist status symbol that will crank the wrong way against the wearer. It may take some time for people to realize what the Glasses are, but once they do, and start to “remember back” to other interactions with the wearer… well, people will begin to get angry as they feel confused and played and retroactively spied upon.

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  • UPDATE:

    Anybody surprised those who won the first invitations to spend $1,500.00USD on Google Glasses are celebrities and ordinary folk with lots of Twitter and Google+ followers?

    Here’s the breakdown of the “winners” —

    http://cs.stanford.edu/people/karpathy/glass/

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  • Ah – handy they come with built in bodyguards – now will all the top restaurants and events turn away celebs with glass ?????

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    • Smart, eh? You can either pay a lot of money to get advertising and articles written, or you can give freebies to celebrities to advertise your goods for you. Now everyone will want one now that Soulja Boy has one!

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  • And of course they will be much cheaper and they will flood the market – did you ever find a cave – or did you decide to go to Mars ?

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  • Now there is a short story in the making ……………………. how long before fake ones come on the market to really confuse the situation ?

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    • The disguise would only protect you in public. At work or at some official event — you’d likely be unable to hide your identity. Everyone walking around the streets with the same mask would be wonderful and nullifying of the whole “Gotcha Glass” experience!

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  • Now I am thinking V for Vendetta ……………………………….

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  • And so the horror begins:

    An incident at a Silicon Valley event shows, however, the way the increasing ease in capturing a moment can lead to problems — even if unintentionally.

    Adria Richards, who worked for the Colorado e-mail company SendGrid, was offended by the jokes two men were cracking behind her at the PyCon developers conference. She posted a picture of them on Twitter with the mildly reproving comment, “Not cool.”

    One of the men, who has not been identified, was immediately fired by his employer, PlayHaven. “There is another side to this story,” he wrote on a hacking site, saying it was barely one lame sexual joke. “She gave me no warning, she smiled while she snapped the pic and sealed my fate,” he complained.

    Critics lashed out at Ms. Richards, using language much more offensive than the two men used. SendGrid was hacked. The company dismissed Ms. Richards, saying there was such an uproar over her conduct, it “put our business in danger.”

    “I don’t think anyone who was part of what happened at PyCon that day could possibly have imagined how this issue would have exploded into the public consciousness,” Ms. Richards reflected later. She has not posted on Twitter since.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/07/technology/personaltech/google-glass-picks-up-early-signal-keep-out.html

    Oh, we imagined it, Adria. We knew this would happen.

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  • Gordon Davidescu

    Here is a take on it from an early user :

    counterpoint :

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57583217-94/google-glass-is-missing-one-critical-factor/

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    • Scoble is the biggest ass-kiss in the business. He only purrs and moans. He’s never interesting or intrinsically critical of anything important. He’s the mewing pet of the Tech Industry.

      http://bolesblogs.com/2007/02/27/scobleizer-found-dead-in-his-grave/

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      • See, it’s people like Scoble who ruin it for regular people, the masses who will determine whether Glass succeeds or winds up in the land of the Apple Newton. His review was so over the top, so up Google’s ass, so “I’m taking a freaking shower while wearing them” (complete with photos,) that no normal, non-over-the-edge Geek will want to come within a hundred miles of them.

        So much for mass adoption. It’s the Segway effect. I was the first person in NYC to own a Segway back in 2003. It. Was. Awesome. But I was also on the damn thing every minute of every single day. I’m not proud of that. I did back then to the Segway, what Scoble is doing to Glass, today, and he should have learned from my mistakes.

        http://shankman.com/if-google-glass-fails-its-robert-scobles-fault/

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  • Two interesting viewpoints – I note the first one is a “visual” guy working in a “Visual” industry. and at $200 a pair people will have several to match their outfits !

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  • Sort of a silly report, but the people are honest:

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  • Curiouser and curiouser …………. http://rt.com/news/apple-patent-transmission-block-408/

    I am not sure if the answers our questions or opens up another rabbit hole. Apple have patented a blocking device .

    “Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive”, and “protected from externalities.”

    ­In other words, these powers will have control over what can and cannot be documented on wireless devices during any public event.

    And while the company says the affected sites are to be mostly cinemas, theaters, concert grounds and similar locations, Apple Inc. also says “covert police or government operations may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions.”

    Like

  • A very thought provoking article and some very interesting comments.

    First thoughts, in the wake of the Snowden whistleblowing is that the authorities, especially in the USA, but also UK and coming to a country near you soon, appear to be already logging just about everything we send over the internet.

    People wearing these devices will be constantly backing up and storing everything they see while wearing them, which means your government is likely to be also keeping a copy too.

    If these become mainstream, the wearers will effectively become 24/7 roving CCTV cameras, not only in public but also in our private homes. Face recognition technology is now getting to such a point where all the authorities will have to do if they want to track any individuals movements, is to put a passport photo of the person into a face recognition search engine which will trawl through the millions of hours worth of footage that the authorities have intercepted and stored. With the world’s fastest computer currently capable of making more than 20,000 trillion calculations per second, it should be a relatively quick and easy process.

    Excellent if you want to find a suspected criminal or terrorist.. and that will be the justification for doing it.

    However, taken to it’s logical conclusion, if this follows the precedence of our must-have dependence of mobile phones, it could result in almost 24/7 surveillance of just about everyone on the planet within our lifetime.

    Dystopian novels have warned about authoritarian governments of the future inserting chips in all of it’s citizens, as a way of surveillance and control. The beauty of this from the perspective of any such would authoritarian regimes of the future is that they would not have to rule that everybody should be chipped, which would risk revolution. No, the people will willingly tag themselves, turn themselves into human spy cameras and even pay for the privilege of doing so. Ironically, once it was accepted into society as a must-have,the government would risk revolution if it tried to take this technology away from them!!

    Eye implants which were mentioned in comments will also be possible, if they are not already so. Nobody will know who has an implant, so people will come to accept that everything and anything they do is liable to be recorded and fed back to the government.

    The privacy person to person risk is immense and worrying, but what is really chilling is that even if people are with others who they trust and happy to be recorded because they trust that person, the government and authorities will get a copy.

    And of course as our governments are largely owned and controlled by big corporations, then they too will have access, unofficially of course, to all this additional information about our private lives. It’s an advertisers dream. They could do personalised mailshots making each advert relevant and likely to lead to a sale rather than pushing out thousands of flyers through doors hoping one in a hundred will produce results.

    Fast forward 10 years when private corporations have access to footage of vast swathes of your life. You receive an ad through the door.. “Mrs Bloggs.. we can remove the unsightly mole you have on your left breast, just call this number for a quotation and a 20% discount off our normal fees!!”

    While the intrusion might be sold to the public as justified as a foolproof way to virtually wipe out most crime, there will always be criminals. Only in this future nightmare world, wear any victim of crime might be wearing an undetectable bionic eye. Criminals will have to remove the evidence after committing any crime to avoid being caught. A grisly thought. Victims of muggings who are now usually left with a few cuts and bruises will end up being blinded for the sake of a few dollars in their wallet.

    Someone needs to make a movie about the possible implications of this technology showing the nightmare existence it could lead to.. in order to serve as a warning to people not to allow technology to push us down this route.

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    • Outstanding commentary and analysis! Next time, email this to me so I can make it a proper article all its own! SMILE!

      I do fear we’ve gone over the doodads edge, and into some dangerous technological territory. The only way to protect us from the “editable truth” of these “always on, but blinking” Panopticonic eyeballs from our governments and friends and foes — is to “unblinkingly record back.”

      We’ll be forced to preserve our unedited version of the truth in order to protect us from others bending the truth for profit and persecution against us. Cloud storage will win the war — if real privacy can be guaranteed.

      That means we’ll all always be watching and listening to each other for self-preservation and our internal voices will be lost. We won’t have time to read or write because we’ll have to always be on alert to the surveilling scrum around us. I fear for our peace of mind.

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  • Thank you David. SMILE!!

    Yes, I fear you are correct, everyone would have to go into “protection mode”, but at what cost to our human nature?

    In such a world, everyone would be ultra-careful about everything they said and everything they did. People would not be comfortable having the normal everyday conversations we enjoy at the moment, lest they said something which could later be misconstrued as either offensive or incriminating which could be used against them in a court of law. Human spontaneity would soon become a forgotten trait.

    Specialist lawyers would spring up.. “Bring us your 24/7 data and we will see if you have evidence to instigate a claim against anyone who discriminated or committed an offence against you!” They would trawl through all your data to find instances where you might have a claim they can make on your behalf.

    I fear if this technology ever became mainstream, it could virtually take away the few human freedoms that remain and change the very nature of how we inter-react and communicate as a species.

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    • I agree on all points.

      I dread it when this technology tries to make its way into the classroom. Students will want to record the lectures so they can “remember better” — they already try that now with iPhones and, before that, mini cassette recorders — and every instructor comment and movement will be under deep scrutinization. T

      he only defense a teacher would have against being recorded, as of now, is to claim a Copyright infringement — but I bet that protection won’t last long because the students will want to win the easy day, and the administration wants their tuition, and so if you want to teach, you’ll have to turn over your Copyright claim to the university during lectures. It’s a horrible way to kill the Socratic Method.

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    • I know the entertainment industry is terrified of Google Glass and similar recording devices. The war is starting!

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      • seems a bit of an overkill …..especially if every cinema premiering the film had that number of “agents” in attendance !

        We have been wondering how a certain Mr Robin Williams is going to cope with the cameras allowed policy at Rock in Rio !

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        • Definitely overkill — but I don’t know how the agents didn’t know Glass was not recording. Unless they have a way of checking what’s been recorded, how would they actually know? Take the guy’s word for it? Not likely.

          Cameras are everywhere now — it will be fascinating to see if anyone can actually keep them away.

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          • That was my next thought ……… how can they tell ? One would hazard a guess that they have been given detection devices – in which case why did they haul him out in the first place ?

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          • Glass has a light that shines while recording that others can see — so I can’t imagine he had the light active while in the cinema — so I think it was guilt-by-association-of-just-wearing-Google-Glass.

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    • It will be interesting to see if Glass sticks in the UK.

      There was a major Google conference last week and, unlike last year where Google+ and Google Glass were everywhere — this year, they were both non-starters. Google+ wasn’t really mentioned as a future technology and nobody on stage was wearing Google Glass, let alone promoting it as the next wave of tomorrow.

      That seems to tell us Google+ and Glass are already done — at least inside Google. I don’t think Glass is really selling here in the USA even though it’s been available for purchase by anyone who wants one, at the full $1500 price — for over a month now.

      Google Glass — or something like it — will be wildly successful when nobody knows you’re wearing it. Then everyone will want one.

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