New Google post attempts to address some of the most common Glass ‘myths’

by: Andrew GrushMarch 21, 2014

google glass glasses

Although there are many folks that are interested in the potential of wearable devices such as Google Glass, there are also those who either fear it, misunderstand it or simply feel that it is a fad item that has no long-term appeal.

In the time since Google first launched the Glass Explorer program we’ve seen several bars and casinos ban the device, there’s been debate about Glass’ legality while driving and then there’s the privacy concerns that have been raised about the device’s camera and the possibility of facial recognition software.

All of these developments have created a public perception of Google Glass that isn’t necessarily accurate. For example, there are a lot of people that think the device is always on and always recording. There’s also those that believe facial recognition software is built right into Glass.

In order to set the record straight, Google has released a new post on Google+ discussing what it calls the “ten myths of Google Glass”. In the lengthy post, Google says that Glass isn’t nearly as distracting as people claim it to be, and in many ways it is less distracting than conventional mobile devices like our phones and tablets.

Google also talks about the kinds of users that utilize Glass, its ban status and even its possible privacy concerns. You can read the post in its entirety by clicking here.

For those just looking for the ‘big hitters’ discussed in the post, here’s a few of the key ‘Glass myths’ that Google discusses:

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.

Glass is always on and recording everything

Just like your cell phone, the Glass screen is off by default. Video recording on Glass is set to last 10 seconds. People can record for longer, but Glass isn’t designed for or even capable of always-on recording (the battery won’t last longer than 45 minutes before it needs to be charged). So next time you’re tempted to ask an Explorer if he’s recording you, ask yourself if you’d be doing the same with your phone. Chances are your answers will be the same.

Glass is banned… EVERYWHERE

Since cell phones came onto the scene, folks have been pretty good at creating etiquette and the requisite (and often necessary) bans around where someone can record (locker rooms, casino floors, etc.). Since Glass functionality mirrors the cell phones (“down to the screen being off by default), the same rules apply. Just bear in mind, would-be banners: Glass can be attached to prescription lenses, so requiring Glass to be turned off is probably a lot safer than insisting people stumble about blindly in a locker room.

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.

While Google makes some excellent points in its “10 Myths post”, it also carefully avoids confronting a few issues such as the fact that anyone can record someone with a phone or tablet — but it’s a lot easier to secretively do it with Google Glass.

What do you think of Google Glass, are the privacy concerns and other drama that surrounds causes for real concern or has the media (and the public) turned this into a bigger issue than it really is?

  • “While Google makes some excellent points in its “10 Myths post”, it also carefully avoids confronting a few issues such as the fact that anyone can record someone with a phone or tablet — but it’s a lot easier to secretively do it with Google Glass.”


    It’s far more obvious that someone might be recording you with Glass… You know, with the entire effing prism lit up and all. That other guy who looks like he’s texting but really is shooting a horrible vertical video of you, yeah total easier to catch.

    Come on.

    • asdfg

      lol someone doesn’t know about moding? Pretty sure that light thing can be moded off sometimes in the future if not already.

      You can pretty much bypass anything when custom room of this thing is out.

      • rubber chicken

        yes that’s what i was thinking wouldn’t take much to disable the LED to make it impossible to detect if it is running , after al the NSA can access webcams without triggering the light.personally i would beat the crap out of anyone who tried to record me with these on, its basically turning you into a human video recorder , they would be better selling versions WITHOUT a camera on which would be less chunky.

        • A. Why would anyone want to record you? You don’t seem special (I’m not your mom).

          B. It does not turn people into a human video recorder. That is just the most inaccurate and uninformed statement I have seen in a long time.

          C. It’s obvious you have no experience with the device so why are you making judgement without any experience or fact?

          Why would some spend money on Glass to secretly record people when it would kill the battery and make Glass useless. If someone wanted to secretly record folks there are TONS of less expensive and better suited options out there…

      • No way you can mod computers?! Since when?
        I’m not talking about the LED (as there isn’t one) I’m talking about the prism, which is the display for Glass. Yes it could be modded to be off (doesn’t make much sense since modding the screen off renders Glass pretty useless and it would be cheaper to just buy one of thousands of spycam glasses), just as cell phones can be modded to have no shutter sound when taking a photo and the screen can stay off when recording. Doesn’t change the fact that with Glass the user still has to be staring right at you in order to record you, again pretty obvious. Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned that Glass would die in about 45 minutes if recording all the time.

  • extremis

    I agree with Tenkely. Someone staring at me is much more obvious that they are recording me or potentially recording me than someone staring at their phone.

    You mention the stores, restaurants, and bars that have banned Glass, but what about those that have provided free services to those wearing Google Glass? It’s important to tell both sides of the story…

  • I agree with Tenkely.

  • Johnny English

    Of course they forgot to mention Glassholes like Mike Elgin from Cult of Android/Mac alienated immediately a lot of people sitting on the fence by ranting about how people that don’t use Google Glass (or find people using them offensive) are luddites and idiots and really emphasized what really is wrong with Google Glass is that many of the people that are ‘early adopters’ tend to be the arseholes that really ruin everything for the others that use a ‘positive’ approach to promoting the device.

    While there are the ones that simply use them and are happy to promote the experience by being positive without crapping down on others.

    Google posting ‘myths’ is just making excuses and psychologically it reinforces the negative feelings others have. Look at every time a goverment official tries to put our minds at rest over spying on us. We always knew, unless the public are really naive, that we were probably being spied on and were outraged to find out. The more the Government tries to calm the angry mob the more it incites them because the trust is not there and posting a myths post is exactly the same, those that are upset are going to look for that chink in the information to prove that that is all lies and it doesn’t matter how accurate the information is those people will never accept it because Google was never up front or made it blatantly obvious with a glaring bright Red LED when it was recording, LOL, and now that wall is up with those ‘Luddites’ as Mike Elgan called them.

  • Some Dude

    FAQ.. Will I look like a dork wearing these.?
    Answer.. Most definitely.
    FAQ.. Am I likely to be beaten up or otherwise assaulted wearing them?
    Answer.. Absolutely.
    FAQ.. Am I likely to be labeled a child molester whilst wearing these anywhere near children .
    Answer.. Yes and in the UK you can expect graffiti to be painted on your door and a small army of barely educated yobs to burn your house down (insurable available separately)

  • potty mouth

    Hopefully now people shut their whore mouths

  • THatch

    This is simple. Glass is the future, it is here now if we are willing to accept it. I love glass. All of these myths are crap. Our own gov. is more of a threat to our privacy than google glass. Anyone who feels strongly against glass should reply. I love to see everyone’s point of view, it can always alter yours.

    • rubber chicken

      The future has not been written.

    • Arturo Raygoza

      yes let’s put cameras on people’s faces to give the government another tool they can remotely access ! thumbs up bro

  • They can add a LED Indicator on the front so that anyone knows if the person is recording or not.

    • True but as others have mentioned it could be taped over or modded off. It is so obvious if someone is recording with Glass I don’t think it is necessary. An LED could be a good pacifier for some folks though…