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

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 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?
April 12, 2013
The-Friday-Debate aa

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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