With Google’s announcement of the release of Google Glass by the end of the year, my mind was once again buzzing at the realisation of the latest technology soon to be in our grasp.
Google Glass, effectively replaces the smartphone in the form of a pair of glasses. Google released this video, which puts in to perspective what is now more than a concept better than I can put into words.
Advances in technology have made things possible that we could only have dreamed of just a few decades ago and whether we think we are ready or not for the changes ahead, the majority of us are all in some way hooked. Rushing out to get the latest device and downloading a mass of apps and information by the day, ever fuelling this thirst for technology to evolve and become available at our fingertips, or eyeballs in the case of glass!
Whether we like it or not, changes are coming. We already know that smartphones are set to take over desktop usage by the end of the year, and as consumers we do all play a part in this driving demand for a more portable and social based way to consume.
So am I for or against Google Glass?
It’s a little bit like when I was able to get my first mobile phone. I wasn’t for it. I was curious about it. The idea of being contactable when you were out (although initially coverage was intermittent) was a little weird. I didn’t want to be contactable at all times. I liked going off with a book into the countryside and reading for a few hours, undisturbed, or going shopping without the expectation of keeping others informed of where I was or when I would be back, with anything other than a rough approximation.
However, I soon developed mobile separation anxiety if I left the house without it. Feeling I was somehow unsafe. What if I had an accident? How would I let anyone know? How could I be identified or loved ones contacted on my behalf?
So back to Google Glass, I’m already drawn to the idea. I have concerns, which are shared by others. Looks being the first if I’m honest. Would you look ridiculous, wearing those glasses and talking to yourself? Perhaps that’s not so different to wearing earphones and chatting via Smartphone as you move around the supermarket?
Safety cropped into my mind next. Will there be any legislation? Surely you can’t use them while driving? But then, we have SatNav and that sits on the dash and we observe it. However, SatNav is just that, it doesn’t offer any other content.
Watching the video for a second time, I’m yet again getting the warm and fuzzy feeling as I watch experiences being recorded and shared as we move through life, all from eye view and hands free.
I’m constantly frustrated by searching in my bag for my iPhone, flipping the case, getting the camera function to load and wasting valuable seconds. Only at the weekend I was at a concert, trying to enjoy the music but at the same time, pausing to get my iPhone out to take a couple of pics of the stage and crowd to record my experience.
What will this mean for other industries? If Google Glass does take off, this will surely have implications for performers as experiences are shared on a wider scale. Will it mean that people are inspired to then go along to have those experiences first hand, or to sit back and watch through the eyes of others?
There will be hungry consumers rushing out for Google Glass no doubt, and if it does take off, its success will be determined by us. What first became a product development by Google will evolve. I am already thinking beyond Google Glass: contact lenses perhaps?