Life with Google Glass

Google wowed developers with cool today and, judging from early reviews of the company’s Project Glass, it worked.

“Seeing the Google Project Glass video streaming technology in action was nothing short of breathtaking,” Mashable proclaimed, after Google co-founder Sergey Brin appeared at the Google I/O conference and talked live with a group of skyjumpers, who were broadcasting and communicating their jump live with their Google glasses.

Then Brin unveiled the pricetag for the glasses — $1,500 — which will ship in limited numbers to developers some time next year.

A solution to a problem? Or a solution searching for a problem?

Christopher Mims, of MIT’S Technology Review, says it’s “like signing up for a mental illness.”

Let’s take all those distractions and put them on our face. Directly in our line of sight. I don’t know about you, but when I want to avoid distractions, I often have to physically avoid them. Out of sight, out of mind isn’t just a cliché — it’s a commentary on the narrow spotlight of human attention and the limits of our ability to manage the cognitive load of having something ever-present in our field of view.

Google Glass is a camera, headphones and a display all in one. Do you find it unnerving when the person standing next to you at the grocery store is having a conversation with him or herself, and at first you don’t realize it’s because they’re speaking into a phone headset? Now imagine they’re also having full-blown visual hallucinations. And that you no longer know whether or not someone is taking your picture, because, hey man! it’s just glasses!

  • Jim Shapiro

    “Like signing up for a mental illness.”

    Christopher Mims is my new hero.

  • Heather

    Goo-Goo Goggles.

  • John P.

    I can see some possible applications for it. We have big machines where I work that regularly need service by an outside service company. The service guys currently wear bluetooth sets and take phone calls from other clients and check parts availability back at their office while they work. They are constantly climbing up and down the machines to refer to the service manual. Maybe this could allow them to view parts lists and schematics hands free.

    I don’t want one, though.

  • Minnwhaler

    Perhaps this could be an education tool to demonstrate what living managing a serious mental illness is like. Only difference is you can’t turn it off… exhausting!

  • Jim Shapiro

    Minnwhaler – Interesting idea. Lsd also replicates some psychotic symptoms. Hey, wearing the glasses while USING lsd…

  • Kassie

    I think a lot of things like this seem ridiculous at first, and have limited use, but eventually evolve and become part of our everyday. We’ve all read predictions about the internet being a fad. Those of us old enough remember thinking people talking on those huge old cell phones were ridiculous. And now, it is part of our life. I remember all the jokes about iPad just a couple years ago. Now it is my second most used device, after my iPhone.