Is Google Glass about to change humanity?
I have to admit, although I have yet to try on a pair, I find myself fascinated by one of Google’s latest offerings, Google Glass. For those who haven't seen this, Google Glass is essentially a pair of glasses ‘enhanced’ with technology which whilst common, is not usually found on a pair of glasses. The glasses allow users to use voice activated commands to enable the wearer to carry out task such as taking photographs, recording video, sharing information, translating languages and getting directions.
Although the product is in its infancy, it is clear how Google envisage this product growing, selling and developing. The vision I'm sure is for Google Glass to become an indispensable part of everyday life in much the same way as mobile phones and now smart phones have. As the product is developed and apps and integrations emerge, Google’s vision may become reality, but whilst Google may be able to predict sales, are they really sure about how their product will actually be used, and how it will affect social interactions and society in general?
There is a long and interesting history of technological developments not being used in the expected way. Alfred Nobel had hoped his invention commonly known as dynamite would bring about world peace, radar was originally researched as a means of destroying enemy aircraft and even the internet was designed to join together different networks and create a network of networks. My point is that with such an innovative application of technology, it is sometimes difficult to see the impact that this technology may have. In this case there is real potential for this product to shape the very way we, as human beings, interact. Is that going too far? No. Look at how technology has changed human interaction and communication. From the telegraph enabling the expansion of the Wild West, to mobile phones and texting , to social media, all facilitating real change in our interactions. Just imagine not being able to text, email or engage online, would you feel cut-off from others? Chances are the answer is yes, and it's an answer that that proves my point. Google Glass has the potential to have the same sort of impact, and whilst we can't be sure whether it will be a game-changing product, or all hype and no substance, we can’t say we haven’t been warned.