Future Watch IV: Google Glass heralds the era of wearable computing
At Google’s recent I/O conference, Sergey Brin orchestrated a compelling demonstration for Google Glass laced with skydivers, bikers, a 40,000 feet high video hangout and a race-against-time package delivery. Signs are definitely looking good for this futuristic technology as tech experts are raving about its potential.
Google Glass, announced in April, is a prototype product that an individual can wear. It comes with an earpiece, a camera, a microphone and an optical projector that displays live streams in real-time. The product is slated to be out in the market by 2014. Google has also taken a few pre-orders from select developers for $1,500. Although the prospects sound absolutely fantastic, there are a few important questions that will make or break this deal for many.
Hardware and performance worries
- The weight of the device would perhaps be the most important thing. One wouldn’t like it to be excessively heavy or chunky.
- What about people who wear prescription glasses? How would the device work in conjunction with those?
- The battery life is another important concern. A battery that needs a recharge every 6 hours would be highly undesirable. It would be far more acceptable to have a daily recharge cycle, or better.
Security and privacy worries
- How safe will these glasses be? Will they obstruct vision and cause people to blindly stumble around and walk into things? Will they distort visibility with sudden pop-ups?
- The biggest concern, however, is the matter of the privacy of the wearer. Google is an advertising agency after all and their motive is to show customers as many ads as possible. What better way to do so than through Google Glass? The device will know every move, every text, every email, every conversation, every Google Voice input, every image viewed and will thus offer highly personal and customized ads. Will this be handled in a way that encourages or discourages users? What will Google do with all the data that it accumulates?
- Additionally, malware and viruses are bound to crop up in this domain. Their nature and severity is something that can only be speculated upon as of now. System protection software would inevitably be a necessity. This is again a challenge that the security industry has to brace itself to meet.
Wearable technology is definitely the future of computing and this is an incredible step in the right direction. There are many issues that will arise along the way for sure, but these will all be part of the learning curve. The future is arriving and in spite of all its potential drawbacks, Google Glass is something that carries massive potential. If you haven’t seen the Project Glass demo yet, you must.
We want to know what you think. Would you wear such glasses as you go about your daily lives, or would you prefer something less invasive? Ads and intrusive pop-ups might ruin this experience for some, but there are many who would willingly accept this as a small price to pay.