Google Gets Defensive About Google Glass 'Myths'
Google’s got its PR panties in a bunch again about its fancy $1,500 face computer. You know, the one that spawned the word Glasshole and for more than a few good reasons.
So apparently the Biggest Brother in tech isn’t too busy NSA-proofing your Gmail to reassure the world one more time that no, Glassholes aren’t rich, dorky, privacy-thrashing creeps. They’re just everyday people, like me and you. Normal with a capital N.
Right. What Google said.
The Glass team has published a prickly post titled “10 Google Glass Myths” on its Google+ page to combat (more like froth at the mouth about) those nasty misconceptions going around about the controversial wearable tech.
Here’s a look at the myths Google officially doesn’t want circulating about its often mocked and hated on baby, plus what we think about them.
“Myth 1 - Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world”
This is where Google ever so gently reminds us that Glass comes in mighty handy during “Big moments in life,” like “concerts, your kid’s performances, an amazing view.”
These precious moments, Google says, “shouldn’t be experienced through the screen you’re trying to capture them on.” Just think, rocking Glass saves you the pain in the neck of having to stare down at your “computer, phone or tablet while life happens around you.” And, hey, don’t forget that “Glass is off by default and only on when you want it to be.” Not when Google or the NSA want it to be.
Yes, nostalgic Glass peeps, you can count on trusty Glass to capture life’s super special memorable moments, like when you’re injecting Botox into a patient’s forehead crinkles or when your future Glasshole crowns during childbirth.
“Myth 2 -- Glass is always on and recording everything”
Just stop already, you silly paranoid people. Google Glass isn’t that much of an Orwellian overachiever. It obviously can’t be on all the time. Not with such a weak battery.
Again, “Just like your cell phone, the Glass screen is off by default,” Google reminds us like the forgetful children that we are. Sure, Glass records for short, 10-second blips by default, but Glassholes can and often do record for longer, for up to 45 minutes, actually, until the battery peters out.
Oh, and please don’t bug Glass Explorers to ask if they’re recording you. It really ruffles Google’s feathers.
“So next time you’re tempted to ask an Explorer if he’s recording you, ask yourself if you’d be doing the same with your phone,” Google implores us. “Chances are your answers will be the same.” Yeah, shame on you, pesky person who cherishes their privacy. Keep your nosy questions to yourself.
“Myth 3 - Glass Explorers are technology-worshipping geeks”
Nope. They’re not actually an elite #ifihadglass army of nerdy Explorers that Google cherry-picked. Ok, fine, 8,000 technically are, reportedly including no names like Newt Gingrich, Neil Patrick Harris, Kevin Smith and Soulja Boy.
Google seems to want us to believe that Glass wearers are everyday average people. People from “all walks of life,” like “parents, firefighters, zookeepers, brewmasters, film students, reporters, and doctors.”
And “because of Glass they use technology less, because they’re using it more efficiently.” We’re not sure how wearing a computer on your mug qualifies as using tech less, but okay.
“Myth 4 - Glass is ready for prime time”
Indeed Google Glass is merely a “prototype,” one that Google admits in the post has required nine software patches and three hardware updates throughout the last 11 months.
“Myth 5 -- Glass does facial recognition (and other dodgy things)
“Nope. That’s not true,” Google asserts. We’ll give them that facial recognition isn’t in Glass’s foray. Not yet, at least.
But “dodgy things,” and plenty of them, are. Ahem, stalking people you think are hot. Watching porn (and making your own). Let’s just stop there.
Myth 6 -- Glass covers your eye(s)
Does a sneaker cover your foot? Certainly not! Google completely lost us on this “myth” slasher, snapping “Before jumping to conclusions about Glass, have you actually tried it?” Ah, the old don’t-knock-it-until-you-try-it number. Most original.
Seriously, though, Google wants to be crystal clear on this, arguing sniveling semantics, like so: “The Glass screen is deliberately above the right eye, not in front or over it.” Why? So Glassholes can still actively make eye contact with others and engage with the world around them. Of course.
Wait. What’s eye contact, again?
Myth 7 - Glass is the perfect surveillance device
Exactly. Everyone knows that tracking devices that you can insert directly in the eye or have people swallow are better.
Besides, Google says “If someone wants to secretly record you, there are much, much better cameras out there than one you wear conspicuously on your face and that lights up every time you give a voice command, or press a button.”
See? It’s kind of your fault if you don’t notice someone -- or someone’s spyware -- creeping on you with Glass. Jeez, you really should pay better attention.
Myth 8 - Glass is only for those privileged enough to afford it
Sure, at $1500 a pop, Google, which just awarded a $3.5 million bonus to its chief business officer, knows Glass is “out of of the range of many people,” especially during these lean economic times.
Just because they're a little expensive, though, “doesn’t mean that people who have it [Google Glass] are wealthy and entitled.” Especially not the entitled part.
Not every Glasshole has had to cough up the cash for theirs either, Google says. Glass is so pricey that some have had to pony up the money for them on “Kickstarter and Indiegogo.”
Other lucky eyeborgs received their Glass as a “gift.” Um, from who? Psssst. We’ll take a pair, if you’re giving them away (not that we didn’t just spoil our chances with this post or anything).
Myth 9 - Glass is banned… EVERYWHERE
This is the part where Google pulled out the big guns, the screaming and shouting of the internet -- ALL CAPS!
Stop stressing that whole privacy thing and leave it to the people to decide where and when it’s appropriate to use Glass seems to be the dead horse Google’s beating here. “Since cell phones came onto the scene, folks have been pretty good at creating etiquette and the requisite (and often necessary) bans around where someone can record (locker rooms, casino floors, etc.).” Yeah, and at the urinals at Google conferences, too.
Team Google goes on to sternly wrist slap “would-be banners,” warning that Glass “can be attached to prescription lenses, so requiring Glass to be turned off is probably a lot safer than insisting people stumble about blindly in a locker room.”
Now you don’t want Glassholes tripping and falling at your fine establishment, now do you, business owners? After all, they just might record their whoopsy-daisy and use it as evidence when suing the pants off of you.
Clearly Google’s not messing around. Throwing up the safety red flag is no joke, one its all-star legal team probably doesn’t want you taking lightly.
Myth 10 - Glass marks the end of privacy
Don’t panic! Calm down already! Google Glass is not the demise of your right to privacy. Cameras, cell phones and YouTube are. Privacy schmivacy.
Google invites you to travel back in time with it for a moment and recall the time when “cameras first hit the consumer market in the late 19th century,” when “people declared an end to privacy.” People overreacted and banned the scary, newfangled machines “in parks, at national monuments and on beaches.”
Bottom line: Like it or not, Google Glass or not, cameras are here to stay and they’ll capture and share the good (“everyday human miracles”), the bad (“our favorite cat videos”) and the ugly (“environmental destruction”), and there really isn’t much you can do about it.
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.