Google glass is a revolutionary idea in the area of communication, and it is definitely a recent invention that will change the world. The basic concept of the glasses is to allow people to use most of the basic functions that a phone would do and install them onto a wearable device. This raises the question, though, of how and when we will really start to see changes in the everyday society that we live in. Larry Page, CEO of Google, would like to envision a city where people will be walking around, wearing the glasses and effectively communicating with people, using the full capability of the glasses. There are many issues, however, that might delay this semi-utopian society that google is trying to create.
The first issue is that there are very few people in the world that would walk around outside, wearing the google glass. The first reason would be that of security. Depending on where you live, wearing a $1,500 device where everyone can see it may not be such a good idea. There is also a fashion issue that is tied in along with it. Although I wouldn’t be bothered by this, most people might not appreciate a large block on the outside of their oddly shaped glasses. Although both of these problems are fixable, and will probably be fixed in the near future, there still begs the question on when this will actually affect society.
It is difficult to imagine a current society where people will all be walking around with these devices, and that is most likely because it is very difficult for a new “trend” to emerge. Along with any other movement, it is very difficult to get a first follower. This is because nobody wants to be different from the crowd, mostly because nobody wants to be wrong or get judged harshly. So for this specific trend to get started there would need to be three major steps. The first would be that google drastically drops the price, eventually to the point where a close to median income person can afford it. Then, there would need to be famous celebrities who are seen promoting or wearing the glasses, further enticing skeptics. Finally, you would most likely need to see the few brave people who would dare themselves to wear the google glasses on the street, to the point where you would feel comfortable wearing it around without having to fear them getting stolen or broken. So this process would definitely take a long time, even up to a few years, especially because it would probably take a while for Google to drop the price.
Although change to society might not be in the near future, once Google Glass does fully take affect, there would be a lot of changes to the world around us, and there are some that seem good, and some that seem weird or harmful. The most obvious thing to come from this is that there will no longer be any awkward kids or adults who sit apart from everyone and talk to themselves, because everyone will be doing that. This may become an issue when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone and the glasses think that you’re talking to them, or if someone next to you is talking to their glasses, it raises the possibility that yours will react to them. The other big change to society would be distractions, and whether or not this invention will eliminate them, or add to them. This will completely depend on the capabilities of the glasses. In the beginning of their release, they will most likely only be equipped with basic functions such as texting, calling, and taking pictures. So in that case, it would drastically improve the situation in our society today of people constantly pulling out their phones to text or take pictures, isolating themselves from the rest of the world. However, it might also backfire on this issue as new developments in the software may occur, leading to new apps and distractions being added to the device. Many people may think that since these glasses would prevent you from looking down at your phone to play on these apps, that it would eliminate any threat of texting or playing when doing basic things, like driving. It has, however, been scientifically proven that you cannot multi-task and that when people think they are multi-tasking, they are actually switching from one task to the other. So eventually, these glasses may be an extreme harm to society if people decide to use them while driving and not focus on what is going on around them.
Despite the slightly negative possibilities, I do believe that Google Glass has a tremendous opportunity to change the world in a good way. As many have long dreamed of when watching futuristic science fiction movies or shows, we might now have the capability to be able to take pictures and send messages at the blink of an eye. People will also be able to finally look up from their mobile devices and enjoy the world around them, while at the same time taking care of their constant texting needs. I believe that this invention will be extremely beneficial to society and will be the next major turning point in communications, along with its possible sister invention, the google watch.
Finally, I would like to relate this invention to one of my later posts regarding bad ideas turning into great inventions. Now, I am definitely not saying that this is a bad idea, but for the first person who suggested it when the project first started, people might have thought otherwise. If we were to rewind just a decade or two, we could see how different technology was back then. So I would like to thank all of the inventors out there that didn’t care if their ideas and inventions were “bad ideas” at the time, or ‘impossible’ ideas, because it’s those ideas that jumpstarted the technology boom that go us to where we are today.