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

March 21, 2014
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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?

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