Because things could get ugly quickly
Glass Act: Ground Rules for the Next Worst Thing in Tech
Maybe you’ve heard about them — there’s no way you haven’t — but Google is pushing a new eyewear gadget poised to revolutionize(!) how we interact with technology. It’s called Google Glass, and its current form makes even the those Rec Specs wearers from your youth soccer days look like Steve McQueen. The internet backhanders have already made a Tumblr about it, god bless ‘em. But as awkward as they are today, there’s a good chance that tech’d up eyewear is here to stay. It’s up to us to deal with it. Or not.
We know what you’re thinking. “Who cares if a few silicon valley billionaires, tech journalists and a grab bag of other randos around town wanna go RoboCop? Celibacy is a personal choice, after all”. That’s the kind of attitude that’ll get you YouTubed at the urinal. What the average citizen needs to understand is that Google Glass essentially takes all the things you love doing on a smartphone and transfers them to a heads-up display. Terminator-style, without the whole menacing red interface. Catching glimpses of New York Times headlines or incoming texts without the strain of reaching into your pocket may be a boon. But the specs also have a camera capable of taking stills and videos with a few discrete swipes on the integrated touch pad by your temple. Alternatively, you can bark off orders by muttering “ok glass” (defeatedly) followed by commands like “take a picture” or “record a video”. The latter captures 10 seconds of life footage, but an additional tap will keep the show rolling until the batteries call cut. In fact, those documenting chops alone were enough to convince some journalists that Google Glass is the new grass. Snaps of other eager early adoptors taking showers with them (taken by fellow geeks in glasses?) have our Spidey senses buzzing like Tom Cruise on 5 Hour Energy.
The chief brains at Google hypothesize that the meer act of someone eyeballing you with a set on their face, along with a little glowing LED light indicating Google Glass is operating provide all the clue’s one needs to know that cam action is afoot. But before you start swinging at the glasstronaut next to you, remember that they could just be catching up on their cat’s latest tweets, like you were three minutes earlier.
The possibilities are already hairy enough that the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus wrote a letter to CEO Larry Page asking him “whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American”. Waiting around until the glaciers melt for some resolution is one option. Or we could just get ahead of it with a gentlemanly agreement on a code of Google Glass ethics. We decided to show some initiative by drafting 10 of our own below. And we’re counting on you to buy in.
1. No clothes, no Google Glass.
The risk outweighs the reward. Trust us.
2. Related rule:
3. Respect Google-Glass-free zones.
4. No Glassterbating.
5. Don’t overshare.
6. Acknowledge that Glass does not enhance your IQ.
7. Don’t personify it.
8. Don’t wear your Google Sunglasses at night.
9. No white-colored Google Glass after labor day.
10. You’re not the first.
*Exceptions granted to resolution draftees.