Is the future of technology hands-free?

My older sister works in Silicon Valley and constantly shares with me the newest things happening in technology. A few weeks back, she told me she was at a restaurant down the street from her office and saw a man wearing a weird headpiece with a small glass frame on the corner of one eye. A coworker of hers pointed and said, “Look, Google Glass!”

Google Glass is a new product that Google is experimenting with in its early stages. In fact, only few people have actually been able to experience Google Glass with the exception of Google employees themselves.

What is Google Glass?

Google Glass is an entirely hands-free computer that you wear like a pair of sunglasses, except there are actually no eyepieces. Instead, there is just a small box in the corner of the frame on the right side. In a New York Times Article, (http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/google-glass-and-the-future-of-technology/) it was said that when a user focuses up at the piece of glass, the half-inch display actually appears comparable to a big laptop screen.

glass_photos4-580-75.jpg

source

Although Google Glass is still so new, think about what this could mean for the

future of technology. In a video on youtube called Google Glasses Project (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSnB06um5r4), they provide some examples of how Google Glass can be incorporated into your day. Imagine a computer that you could just speak to and it would act, that was in view whenever you looked up, and that could be a companion throughout the day. Google Maps could transition into arrows that appeared in front of your face. What will happen to our brains, the way that we think, our ability to multitask? Will textbooks become a digital media that can appear in front of your eyes?

So how will the technology work?

Google explains that glass will eventually have the ability to “get online.” Right now, Google Glass hooks up wirelessly to a cell phone, but in the future the device could have it’s own system entirely. This technology overall is pretty exciting, and I think it really could be the next big thing in technology. I imagine that these will replace cell phones and even computers some day. What is the need for a heavy laptop when you have a practically weightless, hands-free device that serves the same purpose?

There are some problems that could arise with this technology, however. For example, if the glasses doubled as a textbook, they would also need to be banned from classrooms to avoid cheating. In an article in Technology Review (http://www.technologyreview.com/review/428212/you-will-want-google-goggles/), the writer tries on a pair of Glasses after interviewing Starner, a technical lead for the project, who originally had the glasses on himself. The journalist actually saw that in the glasses, Starner was reading what he could and could not say on the screen during the interview. Right in front of his eyes, he was able to participate in his interview and read a screen without being detected. Google Glass could change the way we communicate, the way we learn, the way we think, and so much more. It could very well be the new big thing in technology, but how much is too much? I also consider the many hypothesis we have gone over in class that seemed like the next big thing or some revolutionary idea that went terribly wrong. Only time and more trial and error will tell, but how do you feel about the future of Google Glass?

Google has a lot of other cool stuff it’s working on. Check out these links below:

Google Glass:

https://plus.google.com/+projectglass/posts

Google’s Self-driving Cars

http://allthingsd.com/20120925/googles-self-driving-cars-now-legal-in-california/? refcat=news

There’s actually a Google Mars (Like Google Earth)

http://www.google.com/mars/

8 thoughts on “Is the future of technology hands-free?

  1. Vikki Ulmer

    It is so great to read all the feedback and further inquiries regarding this blog. You all raised questions I hadn’t considered- mostly regarding the possible medical factors involved with the use of Google Glass. It seems that some optometrists have blogged about their concerns with the idea of Google Glass, it could interfere with the processes of our eyes and how our visual cues interact with our brain as well. Also blogs like This one hold virtually no data or studies to go off of, it was interesting to hear the opinions of eye care providers. We also must consider how new Project Glass is and hope that it will not be released until proper research has been completed.
    In addition to that, your questions about this raised another one of my own.. we hear about how detrimental texting and driving or even texting and walking can be (and laughed at YouTube videos of people falling into water fountains because of it), and project glass takes this concern to a whole new level. In my opinion, it would be almost impossible to do that many things at once.
    All of these things also tie to the other reoccurring theme in your comments as well as my closing questions in the blog- how much technology is too much? Do we really need Google Glass, or a thinner smartphone, or a laptop the size of a 3 x 5 card? You could argue that times are changing and everything is being modernized, but I think Google Glass is somewhat unnecessary, like many of you also stated. Here is another blog that questions the merging of humans and machines. It seems we all have similar views on the matter and the future of Google Glass and technology itself.

  2. KEVIN J KIM

    This is a very interesting and exciting invention that Google has created. I feel like technology is constantly becoming more and more “hands-free” (things like Siri, bluetooth, voice command, etc) and these Google Glasses take it to a whole new level. Having the ability to see use computer technology by simply wearing “glasses” can potentially be very useful. Its versatility can make doing work/research much easier and accessibility to knowledge in real world scenarios, as opposed to sitting in a room on your computer, would be instantaneous. Some may argue that these glasses can be very distracting but according to the prototypes tester Thad Starner, “One of the key points here is that we’re trying to make mobile systems that help the user pay more attention to the real world as opposed to retreating from it.” – http://www.technologyreview.com/review/428212/you-will-want-google-goggles/
    So this brings up another point. If we have technology that we will be constantly exposed to, such as the Google Glasses, at what point of technological advancement will our lives be completely engulfed in technology? Although Starner made the point that these glass actually make us pay more attention to the real world, it doesn’t seem likely that having the internet infront of your eyes will actually make you a more social person. If technology progresses at the pace that it has been, I feel like our society will be consumed by it. Just look at how we use cellphones these days. Scary stuff

  3. NICHOLAS WILLIAM MARSICO

    everything science fiction directors showed in thier movies is coming true. we are getting closer and closer to Star Wars and a Star Trek type of society. this would be a very popular apparatus for people. but, as you said there are controversies with cheating and things of that nature. possibly to avoid cheating they could restrict access to things based on location of the individual user. Also, i wonder if this would have any serious medical concerns with our eyes and brain. Like would this cause our vision to be dwindled over time and how would it affect the essential parts of our brain?

  4. KIRA LEE MARSHALL-MCKELVEY

    It scares me to think that computers could go extinct. I already find it rude when people whip out their phones and start texting/going on facebook while trying to maintain a face to face conversation, and this would just increase the problem. It would be like talking to a robot. Also, I think it would make us more lazy because instead of having to search for information, it would just be there. People would just take in the surface of information because multitasking would be even more prevelant than it is today. And what about eye strain? Or clumsiness? If I’m looking up at piece of glass while walking, I can only imagine trying not to walk into trees or other people. Rather than connecting us to the world, google glass seems to separate us from it.

  5. CAROLYN MYERS HAMM

    I think that Google Glass is a really cool idea- definitely innovative. However, it does kind of scare me that technology is getting this advanced. Our lives have gotten to a point where things like iPhones, Laptops, and iPads are the bane of our existence. Ask any teenager whether they’d rather give up food or their cell phone for 24 hours and they would probably pick the food. I think the addition of something like Google Glass to the mainstream market would reek havoc on our social lives. We would be attached to our computers literally 24/7, making ourselves seemingly uncapable of having a normal face to face conversation. I find that this is a common trend in science- taking things too far for our own good. Another example of this would be genetic modification of our children. Yes, I think that it’s awesome that science gives us the OPPORTUNITY to do this, but I don’t think that it’s an ethical practice.

  6. ARIEL SAMANTHA EPSTEIN

    I think these google glasses are an awesome invention. However, I agree with what you say at the end of the article. Could this be an invention that sets up for failure? With all of the talk already about cell phone radiation possibly causing cancer could these glasses do that too? These glasses require being on our faces at all times unlike a cell phone where it doesn’t necessarily have to be held close to our brain or face all of the time. Would these glasses be harmful or helpful? This article is about why cell phones can possibly cause cancer http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones. However there is not enough evidence to support this as I spoke about in a blog I wrote last blog session. http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/siowfa12/2012/10/cell-phones-cancer.html
    Maybe in a few years someone will refer to how these glasses may not cause cancer like I tried to defend with cell phones.
    Do you think these would be harmful or helpful?

  7. KELSEY J LESSER

    I feel like as fun as Google Glass could be, it’s just too much. Technology like that will take the population of technologically savvy people and turn them into robots. People won’t know how to live their daily lives without the device eventually. It’ll make people more socially awkward than cell phones already have, and it will also make people too reliant on a device rather than themselves. I know it could be an extremely fun device to use, and it could make a lot of peoples’ daily lives easier. It just doesn’t seem ideal to me.

    In an article I read on itworld.com (link below) an employee trying out the new glasses mentions that they could definitely be a bad addition to the technological world. The author says “…the idea of others reading or watching Netflix while engaged in a stimulating, intelligent chat with me, well, that is not as appealing.” I couldn’t agree more with that statement. People would be so into the technology that they wouldn’t find anything else interesting.

    http://www.itworld.com/answers/topic/personal-tech/question/google-glasses-cool-new-thing-or-worst-gadget-ever

  8. Harry Augustus

    It is another encouraging proof,as reassuring it also could be,that technologies could really revolutionize our life.It almost strikes me as a human nature that we are predisposed to incessantly extract maximum pleasure of the possible life.Laptops are rather novel inventions across the gigantic span of our history,people firstly favored the idea of being able to carry a portable personal computer whereever they go,and then as ever-changing technologies granted us to run on more efficient frame of the laptop,we see that a previously bulky laptop loaded with certain features could also be transplant to a more compact laptop which renders less space.As you’ve expected that in the future,we might come to a time that laptops be replaced by these glasses,which offer us a translucent virtual monitor right in front of our eyes.Not even mentioning how post-mordern this gadget is,the fantasy of totally getting rid of any visual projectors can instantly catch people’s interest.

    But there’s obviously a problem with a specific group of people,the nearsighted or farsighted or even the astigmatic.If they opted to wear glasses than contact lenses,then they have to deal with an additional glasses,though it has no eyepieces,it could still remain as a hinderance,or one may say,a burden in addition to people who have optical disorders.

    To ensure that Google Goggles receive vast acclaim,Google has to continue working on some relevant issues which our eye health demands.

Leave a Reply