If you think people checking cell phones while you’re talking to them is rude, Google Glass is going to ruin your world. Users of Google Glass can take photos and video, search for information and communicate instantly, all on an almost completely hands-free, voice-activated glasses-mounted display. While the Google Glass era will create a host of benefits such as new companies and more incredible technologies, concerns have arisen about its potential impact on humanity. Here are five of them.
5 Google Glass users will be run over… sometimes unintentionally
This is a technology that combines ubiquitous Internet, visual distraction and an endless supply of cat videos. The world of the future is one filled with aunts walking into intersections, teenagers falling into mall fountains and drivers going Toonces off of cliffs. Lucky for all of us there will be plenty of video of our danger-filled future thanks to Google Glass.
4 Google Glass will make it impossible to escape your online profile
As soon as someone knows your identity, it will be possible for them to look up your relationship status (if they go on Facebook), job status (if they go on LinkedIn) or how much of a nerd you are (if they see you have ever gone on Google+). Advertisers connected to Google Glass will be able to serve you ads in based on your behavior. Hate commercials? Too bad. Now Zooey Deschanel will try to sell you iPhones wherever you go.
3 Google Glass will affect the way people act
According to the Hawthorne Effect, people modify their behavior when they are being observed. One bar in Seattle already has banned Google Glass, which makes sense because it’s hard to get a roomful of people to consume copious amounts of Red Bull and vodka when they know their every move could be viewed on YouTube by a potential employer’s human resources department. “So, where do you see yourself in five years… interesting, I see… And do you still believe that ‘fatties need loving too?’”
2 Google Glass means more government control of our lives
Let’s flip it around. Say you’re wearing Google Glass. It can track where you are, what you look at, what you read and what you buy. With Google Glass your actions will be viewed in real time by companies that have shown little reluctance to hand over user data to the government. Google Glass supporters counter by saying Google Glass will be useful in recording individuals guilty of wretched government abuse. For example: the DMV.
1 Google Glass will mark the end of privacy
How would you like to be photographed, videotaped or audio-recorded without your consent? Granted, the government does it all the time, but the government isn’t some weird old dude in a bar (except for Joe Biden, of course.) Imagine a world in which your conversations are saved or are broadcasted or are uploaded to the cloud. And you—whether you are the taper or taped—do not own the data. OK, that’s pretty much how it is now, but imagine a lot more of it.