Few people have worn or even seen Google Glass, but early reviews have made businesses and government officials weary.
Already, Google Glass has already been banned by a Seattle dive bar and in some Las Vegas casinos. West Virginia legislators are trying to make it illegal to wear Glass while driving, The New York Times reports.
Google Glass is still in a prototype phase and only a few thousand people have gotten their hands on the unfinished product. It’s currently a set of frames with a screen that appears above the right eye’s line of vision and connects to the Internet. With voice commands and motions, Glass can take photos or video, search the internet, conduct a Google Hangout or send messages. It’s like seeing Apple’s Siri before your eyes.
Google’s slow rollout is brilliant from a marketing standpoint; it has created a lot of demand. But the scarcity is also creating paranoia, causing many to fear the unknown.
The New York Times interviewed multiple lawyers and businesses who are uneasy about the mysterious device.
“This is just the beginning,” one Los Angeles lawyer told NYT. “Google Glass is going to cause quite a brawl.”
“We are all now going to be both the paparazzi and the paparazzi’s target,” said another.
The main concern is invasion of privacy. Bypassers wearing Glass are capable of taking photos and videos discretely, and sharing them from the device.
“Google Glass will test the right to privacy versus the First Amendment,” another lawyer said.
For those who have tried Google Glass, the concerns seem exaggerated. You can already take photos and videos discretely on mobile devices. Personal assistants, like Glass or Siri, are used more for directions and looking up information than stalking.
Tech guru Robert Scoble, who tried Glass for two weeks, said he was surprised most of the “privacy concerns [he[ had didn’t show up” and he was “shocked how few negative reactions [he] got” while wearing Glass. He believes the public’s fear of Glass will go away once the devices are in their hands.
“Asocial people will be able to find a way to do asocial things with this technology, but on average people like to maintain the social contract,” Thad Starner, a technical advisor to the Glass team, told NYT. After years of using glass-like products he concludes, ” I can’t think of a single instance where something bad has happened.”
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