How not to be weird – Google issues Glass advice

November 11, 2014 : TECHFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

How not to be weird Google issues Glass advice

If the tech publications are to be believed, one of the big trends of this year is set to be wearable technologies, with augmented reality-style glasses in particular forecast to really take off in 2014. So if you've ever fancied wandering around like the Terminator, with information popping up in your vision, it may not be far away.

In truth, it's still very early days for technology like Google Glass and its inevitable wave of imitators. At the moment, Google's device is still in somewhat of an extended beta phase, with it only available to selected individuals – known as 'Explorers' – who've been trailing the device.

But despite their currently limited numbers, Glass users have already managed to generate more than their fair share of controversy. One of the most common issues is the fact they include a camera in the frame, which has led to some people raising privacy issues about being recorded without their knowledge – although it's hard to miss the less-than-stylish Glass device, so you're likely to notice if you're talking to someone wearing with them. James Bond-style hidden gadgets they aren't.

Meanwhile, other legal issues have also raised their head. In one case, a woman in California was prosecuted for wearing the device while driving, using the same laws that prevent looking at a mobile phone. She won, but only because the police couldn't prove it was switched on.

In another case, a US man claimed he was questioned by the FBI after wearing his Glass in a cinema. You might think that alone would be reason enough for a talking-to just to check his sanity, but as it turned out, they were concerned he was using its camera to not-so-secretly pirate the movie.

So with so much uncertainty about exactly how these wearable technologies should be used to avoid you getting arrested, or just looking weird, Google has put together a list of dos and don'ts that everyone who walks around with a camera on their face should bear in mind (or at least have handy on their display).

Hello, are you still there? – Don't 'glass-out'

Of course, with a wealth of information literally right in front of your eyes, it might become easy to get distracted by a new email message or notification. But Google warned users not to forget how they might look to those around them if they're focusing on their screen.

It explained people should be using Glass for short bursts of information – not reading War and Peace. Google advised: "If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you're probably looking pretty weird to the people around you."

Taking it to the max – Remember it's not indestructible

The Glass is an expensive piece of kit. It's made of some of the world's most advanced materials. But these don't include adamantium, so it can be fragile. And you really don't want to stand by helpless as your pricey gadget falls to the ground and shatters.

Therefore, despite the temptation of that camera, Google warned it's not a good idea to be taking Glass white-water rafting, rock climbing or bullfighting. If you really want an exciting first-person video to remember your best stunts, you're better off sticking to a digital camera and a product like one of our helmet mounts to hold it.

You're not really a robot – don't be creepy

You'd think it would go without saying, but 'don't be creepy' is a pretty good rule for most social interactions. Yet Google has seen fit to remind its users about some of the basics of this when wearing its technology. It reminded users that if they want to avoid being labelled a 'glasshole' (their word, not ours), they need to respect others and their privacy.

"In places where cell phone cameras aren't allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you're asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well," it stated. "Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers."

Google also advised its initial users to be friendly and answer any questions people have politely. Because let's face it, it's still going to be a while before walking around with Google Glass is going to be anything other than a novelty, so you should expect a few stares.

Developing good etiquette and knowing when is and isn't appropriate to use them will help with acceptance of the technology and avoid any pesky arguments or unwanted attention.

This entry was posted in TECH and tagged on by sarahstooks
Return to previous post Return to Blog