The Friday Debate: Is Google Glass really the future of computing?

April 12, 2013
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The-Friday-Debate aa Image: Evan Forester/Flickr

We are all mobile geeks, here at Android Authority. We love everything with a power button. We like to comment the latest news and endlessly argue over which phone is better. On the Friday Debate, we pick a hot issue and proceed to discuss it. Join us!

This week, Google announced the setup of a special venture fund dedicated to kick starting startups that want to develop applications for the futuristic Glass head-mounted computer. But the most exciting Glass-related news that came this week was the revelation that the first units will ship within a month to Google Glass Explorers.

With new and disruptive technologies, controversy is never far away. Some hail Google Glass as the next paradigm shift in computing. Others bemoan the potential privacy issues, or even call it an overhyped gimmick.

Today, at the Friday Debate, we discuss Google Glass – is it the future of computing or just a storm in the teacup?

Darcy LaCouvee (G+): 

Initially, I believe Google Glass will be limited to the confines of advanced information hubs, like all the major metropolitan areas. From studying our Analytics at Android Authority, it’s clear that people in places like Singapore, New York, London, Seoul, California, and Texas are likely to be the types of people most interested in this. Ardent Google evangelists and mobile technology early adopters could care less about privacy.

In terms of development, we’re seeing a lot of heavy hitters with endless budgets that are quite keen to adopt this new platform quickly.

How many times did smartphones and tablets come out before they gained mainstream adoption? Many. I think it will be a slow start initially, and the experience will be sub-par But it will only get better.

Passive interaction, information-at-a-glance, and super-computing assisted learning and interaction with our environment and networks characterize platforms of the future. Google Glass is ahead of the curve. Makes Facebook look like a fax machine.

Google Glass Press (4)

Robert Triggs (G+)

Perhaps it’s the slightly cyber-punk look, but I’ve always had the feeling that Google Glass is going to be a game changer. Darcy LaCouvée is spot on when he says it’s ahead of the curve, and the techie in me certainly sees the potential.

But I do have my reservations; Google Glass further cements the idea that we should always be “plugged in”. After all, you can’t use it when you’re not wearing it, and to put Google Glass on the nightstand is to essentially declare yourself offline. Which is a pro and a con.

You can check your smartphone at will, but beaming social updates directly into your eye is far more intrusive and won’t be to everyone’s liking.

I expect it to be popular, but perhaps it won’t replace the smartphone as some expect it to. As for privacy, I think that businesses’ declaring where it can and cannot be used is a perfect compromise. In public it’s not an issue, even in the days of pen and paper you’d be subject to ridicule for drinking too much, or be called out in the local paper for spouting political nonsense in the town square.

Sergey Brin demonstrates Google Glass

Sergey Brin demonstrates Google Glass

David Gonzales (G+):

Honestly, I find it quite strange that wearable tech is still not the norm considering all the possibilities available to us in this day and age. But there’s very little doubt in my mind that Google Glass will be enough to kick start an entire industry of wearable computers.

As for privacy concerns and whatnot, you have to remember that Google Glass will ultimately be offered to people who were born digital. To paraphrase one of the more famous lines from The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan, we merely adopted the Internet — and with it, accompanying issues concerning freedom and privacy. Many people out there were born and raised with the kind of Internet that we have today — the kind that didn’t exist back when the Internet was first made available to the public. To these people, I think privacy will be but a minor concern.

Eventually, I believe Google Glass will spread far and wide but not because of the groundbreaking tech that it brings or the insane number of great things that it makes possible. Instead, people will line up for it just because it’s neat, much like cigarettes. People won’t care much about the primary concerns being raised by some cautious tech-savvy observers now. They just want to feel really cool.

google glass girl Credit: DVF

Derek Ross (G+)

Wearable computing is the future. Google is jumping in head first into this completely new market space. As with anything new and unknown there’s bound to be consumer apprehension.

When it comes to privacy and Glass, it’s quite simple. All of these arguments have happened before. They happened 10 years ago when camera phones were being introduced to the world. Various organizations, places of business and even municipalities tried to ban camera phones. How did that work out? After everyone owned one, the majority of concerns went away.

Those that are forming negative opinions on a product they have never used themselves, let alone even seen or touched really need to reevaluate their outlook on the world. Crying wolf when the wolf hasn’t even stepped out of his den yet seems a bit premature.

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Comments

  • D Myers

    I am not sure if anyone has addressed this but I am very excited about one possible use for Google Glass. I ride a motorcycle and tend to do long (week long) trips. I have not really found a GPS that I like with out having to drop $700. Even then it is not in my line of sight and to check it I have to look down.

    On my last trip I just piped my phone into some earplugs and used Google maps to get me where I was going. It worked pretty well BUT the idea of actually having the map up, where I can see it with out taking my eyes off the road.. to me that would be WELL worth the price of admission. Does that speak to validity of Google Glass as an everyday platform for, well everyone else? no, but I think it does point out that there are going to be people using them to fill a need that was not thought of ahead of time. (mind you all of this is contingent on them fitting under my helmet :D )

    • lost in Nokia maps

      I usually drive car, and not in places where i know every street, still i dont need a GPS. Why dont you look at the map first and then go, do you really need to se the GPS all the time? Sounds like a bad habit and not a real requirement.

  • Mike A

    I think this will be a stop gap technology. Much like pagers. This will lead to greater and greater things. Maybe like Michio Kaku says and we’ll have this in contact lens size soon. Then maybe after that we’ll be able to get replacement eyes. “Google Eyes”, if you will.

  • Pi

    I can’t imagine how voice-recognition is going to be any better than its been on any other device, especially if it requires a network connection…

    • lil bit

      Only need an hour with a samsung flagship to be convinced that voice reognition is a failure. And how about siri? I said it last year and i say it again, “iphone users use siri as a bragging right, eventually it will go quiet, as they are not using it as much as they pretend.”

      And i was right.

      Voice remains an obscure input method. Need additional smartwatch or something like that to get reliable input.

      • siriboy

        In the first weeks after siri first came out it was used like this, “hey, i said fokk you, dont you understand english bitch?”. And then they felt so cool, lucky we didnt tell them how pathetic they were, now they already realized it and now they also feel that siri is… Pathetic.

  • lil bit

    Its no more the future than Sony SmartWatch, but for a while it could be popular for people with special interest.

    As usual with Google, only a few countries will get it at a reasonable price, the rest of us need to pay overprice, and thats for a beta product with limited functionality. Will take years before matured products emerge, but by then it may already have been deemed to be a flop and noone care anymore, then it will never even reach the shelfes.

    I may still buy a sony smartwatch hahah..

  • Lowry Brooks

    Google Glass and wearable technology will definetly kill smartphones.