Project Glass is a research and development program by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD) named Google Glass. Project Glass products display information in a smartphone-like format hands-free, and can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands. The eyewear's functionality and minimalist appearance (aluminium strip with 2 nose pads) has been compared to Steve Mann's EyeTap, and uses Google's Android operating system.
I won't be so bold as to predict failure for a project so ambitious, but I do have some thoughts and questions:
By design, Project Glass is wearable. All snark aside, that makes Project Glass a fashion statement on top of whatever else it is.
- Of all the people you know who wear glasses, how many people do you know who have the same taste in glasses?
- How many people do you know who absolutely hate to wear and/or refuse to wear glasses?
- Flip that: How will Project Glass work for people who need to or simply like to wear prescription glasses rather than contacts? Is Project Glass compatible with that need/preference?
- Number three leads back to number one: Will Project Glass be available in enough styles to satisfy personal taste? How many styles is enough styles?
- Will Project Glass cater to different head sizes? One size fits all? If they squeeze (too tight) or slide (too loose) people won't wear them. If people won't wear them, they won't buy them.
- What about people who are blind in one eye or the other? (Leaving aside blind in both eyes.)
We take them for granted, but our eyes are pretty important.
- I realize testing is being done, but can enough testing be done prior to mass production to ensure that consumers will not reject Project Glass purely from a comfort standpoint?
- Will everyone be able to focus on the HMD based on how close it is to the eye? Will age be a factor? Will basic vision impairments be a factor?
- Project Glass presents its heads up display (HUD) over the right eye which means the hardware which comprises the HMD appears to partially obstruct the wearer's field of vision. What impact could Project Glass have on our ocular health, long term? Is it safe to have one eye constantly (or even often) focused on something that the other eye is not focused on, especially at such close range? I'd love to hear from an eye doctor on these points.
- I get headaches when I switch back and forth between wearing or not wearing my glasses. Can we expect the same (or worse) from Project Glass?
What are the legal implications?
- While driving? (Safety.)
- While recording? (Privacy.)
What are the mind control implications? (Hat tip to my wife for pointing this out.)
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