Google going into ‘Defense’ mode about Google Glass (Plus our views)

The Google Glass is a controversial device. When companies are snooping on their customer’s data and the NSA has been spying on us in varied ways, we don’t need yet another reason for our concern to privacy.

But then, there is Google Glass. It is basically glasses on your face, but with a camera. You may be talking to someone, but are you? Even worse, you may be recording a video of someone face-to-face, without them knowing. Now THAT is a serious breach of privacy.

Google's Getting Defensive About Glass

Evidently, Google is getting some heat about Glass and so it has gone into defensive mode. First, it listed out a list of do’s and dont’s for Glass Explorers. And then this.You see, there are many Google Glass myths going around in the web: Some true, Some half truths and some fully baked lies. But many people aren’t aware that some of the myths aren’t true and that casts a bad image on Google Glass.

As Glass nears completion, Google is evidently concerned about this and so has put out a post on Google+ which debunks the top 10 of the Google Glass myths.

Here are some that we think are the best (Be sure to check out the full list, it is interesting):

“Myth 1 – Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world
Instead of looking down at your computer, phone or tablet while life happens around you, Glass allows you to look up and engage with the world. Big moments in life — concerts, your kid’s performances, an amazing view — shouldn’t be experienced through the screen you’re trying to capture them on. That’s why Glass is off by default and only on when you want it to be. It’s designed to get you a bit of what you need just when you need it and then get you back to the people and things in life you care about.
Myth 3 – Glass Explorers are technology-worshipping geeks
Our Explorers come from all walks of life. They include parents, firefighters, zookeepers, brewmasters, film students, reporters, and doctors. The one thing they have in common is that they see the potential for people to use technology in a way that helps them engage more with the world around them, rather than distract them from it. In fact, many Explorers say because of Glass they use technology less, because they’re using it much more efficiently. We know what you’re thinking: “I’m not distracted by technology”. But the next time you’re on the subway, or, sitting on a bench, or in a coffee shop, just look at the people around you. You might be surprised at what you see.

Myth 7 – Glass is the perfect surveillance device
If a company sought to design a secret spy device, they could do a better job than Glass! Let’s be honest: if someone wants to secretly record you, there are much, much better cameras out there than one you wear conspicuously on your face and that lights up every time you give a voice command, or press a button.

Myth 10 – Glass marks the end of privacy
When cameras first hit the consumer market in the late 19th century, people declared an end to privacy. Cameras were banned in parks, at national monuments and on beaches.  People feared the same when the first cell phone cameras came out. Today, there are more cameras than ever before. In ten years there will be even more cameras, with or without Glass. 150+ years of cameras and eight years of YouTube are a good indicator of the kinds of photos and videos people capture–from our favorite cat videos to dramatic, perspective-changing looks at environmental destruction, government crackdowns, and everyday human miracles.”

(From Google)

Our views on the best myths:

Myth review #1 – Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world

Google’s defense is partly true. While Glass allows you to do all the activities that you do without losing touch in the world, you may get distracted a lot. When you have a screen above your right eye that no one can see, you are bound to drift off. If you drift off, you get distracted and away from the real world.

And no one knows whether you are doing something else or not, you remain disconnected. So, Glass can be potentially be used while talking and during meetings, creating distractions that were otherwise not there before or were difficult with a smartphone.

Myth review #2 – Glass Explorers are technology-worshipping geeks
While Glass explorers may be from all walks of life, be it doctors, nurses, teachers, etc, who is to say that people of other professions cannot be geeks?

Moreover, Glass’ design is a little bit weird and may not be accepted by everyone but may be accepted by “technology-worshipping geeks” (No offense, Geeks).Plus, usually the ones who preorder products or buy beta products are early adopters. To be an early adopter is knowing that a product may be successful or may also be a big fail. Even knowing that, early adopters scram out at every opportunity to buy first generation/ beta products. Such a nature is a part of the essence of being a geek.While all Glass users may not be geeks, it is almost guaranteed that buyers of Glass Explorer edition are geeks.

[P.S This section wasn’t meant to offend geeks. We were just making a point. #ProudtoBeGeeks]

Myth review #3 – Glass is the perfect surveillance device

While companies may do a better job at concealing the camera, Glass still may be perfect for your average spying purposes. Not FBI or CIA standards but may do the average job well.

About the blinking light which turns on while recording? It can be disabled and easily too, Google itself has demonstrated.

The average Joe might not know much about Google Glass and that can be exploited by many to spy on them using Glass.

Myth review #4 – Glass marks the end of privacy

Yes when cameras first appeared it was proclaimed that the beginning of the end of privacy had started. Yes, cell phone cameras too awoke the same feelings. Yes, those two devices haven’t had that much an impact on our privacy and certainly not as much to announce privacy’s death.

But this time, the prophecy of privacy’s death seems plausible. Why? See, when you use smartphones or cameras you lift them up or point to the object to take a picture. So, the person can actually know that someone is taking his/hers picture because there is almost no reason for you to point your device at them.

But it is a whole different ballgame with Glass. Glass sits on your nose, in front of your eyes, like spectacles. So what you see, the Glass can see. Which means the camera is in your line of sight. So a person can only know you are looking at them, not whether you are taking a picture or not.

Plus, the safety measures set by Google to prevent this can be easily bypassed and as mentioned in Myth Review #3, the average Joe won’t know much about Glass and so may be exploited.

Google is also developing a Glass with prescription lenses. Then what? You can take a potentially super-secret camera anywhere with you on the excuse that it is required for your eyes. That will increase the scale of privacy bludgeoning.

With an almost invisible camera that is in your line of sight and limited knowledge of most, Glass actually seems like the beginning of the end of piracy.


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