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Google Glass for the majority is a long way off. In fact, if you go to the ‘MyGlass’ app page on Google Play, you’ll see, for those without Glass:

..there's a picture of a puppy in pyjamas. So not a total waste of time after all.

Puppies aside, Google professes Glass (like all G products) was built to break down barriers. The idea is to make things easier and more seamless; to free up hands and time.

Here at Econsultancy, the high-falutin’ Editorial team has some philosophical concerns. Our Head of Social, Matt, was quick to point out that Glass will essentially create a simulacrum of the world, a sort of 1:1 map that is neither real nor artifice (I direct you to Borges’ On Exactitude in Science).

Whilst we’re fans of Google, we’re sceptical about just what third party developers will come up with for Glass

There’s arguably never been such a product; a piece of hardware that fundamentally alters perception and interaction with the world. Even smartphones are a false precedent for Glass, but perhaps do offer a dirty window on our increased device reliance (dare I smush these words together and create ‘deviance’?).

Even with well-intentioned developers, might third party apps add unwanted lustre to our already homogenous cityscapes?

In this post I make some philosophical predictions, as seen through some nascent apps. Of course, it’s a lot more fun to cast concerns with a negative spin; forgive the hack approach!

Here’s what Google Glass will destroy…..

1. Faith

JewGlass

Surely we don’t need to be prompted to have faith? Yep, some of the prayer reminders do seem to be for the absent-minded devotee, but JewGlass also directs to synagogues and kosher restaurants. 

 

2. Microwave meals

NavCook and KitchMe

A prime example of Glass apps that can solve an old problem. With recipes displayed in front of your eyes, there’s no need to ruin the phone or buy that hefty cookery book (at least without access to app content). Will I face more stigma for the Fray Bentos pie?

3. Rebellion

Google Now

Constantly reminded when you're breaking from routine? It could get worse with Google Now and Google Calendar serving right into your eye, with suggestions built on months of habits, and meetings you are ever-more beholden to. Remember, you've got to opt-in with Google Now, it's all or nothing. :-)

4. Those scenes in movies where a guy walks into a bar and sees breaking news on a television

NY Times & CNN

‘No news is good news’? ‘No news’ no longer an option.

This is something we are already familiar with, on our iPhones and such. If every app pushes you notifications, no news becomes virtually impossible. News can bring change, and change can bring anxiety.

The NY Times and CNN give you a new card once an hour with a roundup of new stories.

Remember those old scenes? Never again, just a bar stool and Glass.

5. Trust

Winky allows you take a photograph with a wink. There has already been much discussion of this capacity of Glass, to observe virtually unnoticed. We’ve already seen a YouTube generation born, knowing that anything they do can be recorded and uploaded. Hopefully Glass' inherent undermining of privacy will help to push society towards a greater culture of seeking consent. But it could get messy first...

6. Cocking your thumb and looking down the barrel of your forefinger (or, simply, pretending)

This isn’t quite Glass (new VR game, Oculus Rift, from creator of Doom), but we’ve long been talking about the moment Doom comes to Glass. A skin over the world and the ability to splat everything without anyone noticing. No more will children learn to simply pretend.

7. Getting away from it all

Through-Glass allows other people’s photographs to pop up in your eye as they are taken. An end to the cloistered view - everyone in your face just like they're now on your phone.

8. Thinking on your feet

YourShow allows you to check your presentation notes as you talk and strut about the stage like Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky. Will ad-libbers become few and far between?

9. Meeting people at a party

This is the other much-spoken about use for Glass – displaying relationship status. Icebreaker allows you to gamify good conversation by ‘hunting’ other users and snapping them with Glass (whilst trying to get them to like you, I guess). Those happy accidents, meeting someone at an impromptu soiree and then spending thirty years with them, will be eroded further than dating sites have already eroded them.

10. Self-doubt

If Icebreaker doesn’t get rid of this, Glass Praiser will, by sending you one ego-boosting message every day. No need for that mantra. Shiny, happy people.

11. Dude, where's my car?

Tesla links Glass to your Tesla Model S, giving you plenty of info about your vehicle, from charge in the car (it’s electric) to routes and whether it’s locked or unlocked. No more losing your car and mounting a circuitous, drug-heavy plan to get it back.

12. The hilarious social faux pas

People+ is a bit sketchy about what it will provide, but it seems to be some sort of contact directory which will almost certainly involve imagery (and possibly sound?), so you’ll never forget who you’ve met. And we'll no longer be able to laugh when our friends shout 'Jeff' in Sally's direction.

If you've any thoughts about the future of mankind, or the future of Glass, leave them below.

Ben Davis

Published 14 August, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (19)

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hmirrorwall.com

Great post. 12 thing so far what we think about. In next 3 years that number will be 24 things. Technology is in the last gear.
Check it out my blog hmirrorwall.com how new technology going to affect business and stuff related to it as selling and buying on ebay for example. Every e-commerce will need to change business structure.

I'm Alex you and can contact me directly visiting my blog and social media pages.

almost 3 years ago

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Brendan Lee

"dare I smush these words together and create ‘deviance’?"

No. Why spoil an otherwise good article.

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@Brendan

Miaow. Thanks for the backhander!

almost 3 years ago

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Dave C

Sounds a bit mundane against this fun and probably accurate list, but might it mean no more "sign for this" handhelds, where we make a totally crap signature on a rubbish device so that the company can prove we got it.

Future: Delivery driver jumps out of his cab, google glass records the handing over of the box. End of transaction...oh actually I guess its not because the heads up display can also tell him where to go next and whether they've a big dog, etc etc

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@Dave C

Videoing the face of the person who signed for the package is a devious idea that I would back. A rare case where I would cede some human rights to catch those annoying people that steal packages.

almost 3 years ago

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Howard Phillis, Head of Social Media at Barracuda Digital

What about the end of the pub quiz?!

almost 3 years ago

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Paul Thewlis

Hard to see if this is a game changer or not if I'm honest.

With smart phones and tablets (no doubt the biggest tech development of the last decade) you're in a state of evolution - phones and computers becoming something more connected, portable and powerful.

With Glass - it just feels too revolutionary.

While I can see a number of practical uses for business - presenting, @Dave C's doorstep delivery idea and extending the recipe card idea... how about chefs receiving orders direct to Glass? I can't quite see what further efficiency or connectivity it offers compared to devices as they stand at the moment.

It just feels like a technology which is going to bypass swathes of people. Can I see myself waking up each morning and grabbing my Glass rather than my tablet or smartphone? Not really if I'm honest because when I'm on those devices I get to put them down or look away while I prepare the kids breakfast or get them ready. Sure I'm getting my twitter/news/email/calendar fix but it's detachable. Would I want it permanently stuck to my face? No.

Regardless for anyone in the marketing or digital sphere - we watch and wait but I sense a whole heap of wasted app development funds around the corner if it fails to catch on.

almost 3 years ago

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Brad Guthrie

Brilliant.

GGs will change us as people, what our kids see as normal won't be how we saw the world growing up.

Access to to all the world's information will be instant, anywhere to everyone. It will no longer be the people who "know" who lead - but instead the people who can apply knowledge.

We'll be living under the vale of always being potentially broadcasted - somewhere.

I can imagine Glassless cafes, bars and restaurants will start up, so people can sup their lattes and talk smack with mates.

Interesting times ahead

Brad

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@Paul @Brad

Agreed and laughed.

almost 3 years ago

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ChloeG

Lovely bit of writing. I can't help thinking most people will NOT opt for the anxiety inherent in GGs, but there are some worrying "advances" here. In particular I feel uncomfortable about the ease of taking photos of people - not just in terms of creepshots of women and girls (or indeed anyone) but also the art inherent in photography - creating a bond that includes trust and consent and rapport.

Glassless cafes sounding increasingly appealing; in fact, so does a glassless island with a library of books (MADE OUT OF PAPER) and a vegetable patch ...

Interesting times ahead indeed.

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@Chloe

I love paper books, but just realised Glass will actually allow me to read books at work. I used to get told off for doing it when I worked at Waterstones Manchester and Imperial War Museum.

There's another connotation - just as shop workers often aren't allowed phones on the shop floor, I imagine employers will outlaw Glass in many industries.

almost 3 years ago

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Björn

Well, I don´t thing Glass will change us as humans, evolution is not really that fast, but it will change the way we handle information. What we have gotten used to the past 500 years is that we have to come to information. Information have during this time step by step come closer to us and is now in our pockets but it is still required of us to reach down in our pocket, open the correct app and then consume information, but with Glass information will truly come to us, and using sensors like GPS, face recognition, etc. it will be possible to present the correct information at the correct time at the correct place without us having to ask for it.

This will truly change how we consume information!

almost 3 years ago

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david

Interesting privacy concerns e.g. Leaving Google Glass'es in in your office to video record conversations in your absence. Could you take a criticism to HR?

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@David

I believe there's a sensor that detects if you are wearing Glass, though I assume, as with other recording devices, it could be used to snoop.

It's probably more of a concern for video-sharing IoT devices, come to think of it, e.g. Canary's future iterations, discussed here http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/63113-the-internet-of-things-10-things-consumers-should-expect

What if neighbourhood watch schemes involve video sharing across remotely operated devices? Those living in London already know what a CCTV state feels like, but it could end up feeling that that Sharon Stone movie, Sliver. :-)

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

I should point out that I may be demoing Glass in the coming weeks, so expect some sweet updates soon.

almost 3 years ago

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Non-Prophet Organization

It will be a game changer... But I hope sincerely not a life changer.

Have any of you read M. T. Anderson's astonishing young-adult novel "Feed"? Written over 10 years ago, it predicts Glasses with chilling accuracy; only in Anderson's future the Glasses are in fact the old technology, and the youngsters have moved on to "The Feed", hardwired directly into their brain... And woe betide anyone who tries to disconnect it...

I am somewhat older than your average correspondent on econsultancy, but I have gladly accepted the astonishing changes in technology and communications of the last decade because I have always been able to use them on my own terms.

But for me, Google Glasses are the line in the sand that I will not cross. Putting aside the obvious issues of privacy, liberty, and freedom of thought, I do not wish to live under the anaesthesia of 24/7 information consumption; I would just like to live my life, actively, doing stuff! Is that really so old fashioned?

Read the book (hey, even read the actual paperback edition!) and think very carefully about where all of this heading... Never was, "be careful what you wish for", so applicable.

Suddenly, even the dystopian reality of "The Matrix" seems plausible...

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@Non-prophet

Matt Owen, our Head of Social, has alerted me to Accelerando, and suggests you become a real-life Manfred Macx! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerando_(novel)

Thanks for commenting!

almost 3 years ago

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Ben Collins

What about the always on CatchUp + where you can rewind what you have just seen and replay the video ? It will revolutionise domestics with your other half, and telling lies amongst other things.

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Senior Writer at EconsultancyStaff

@Ben

You've been watching too much Black Mirror!

almost 3 years ago

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