Why I’m Excited For Google Glass

Recently you may have begun to see The Future out in the wild – Google Glass. They have received a ton of coverage, and are fairly klunky and hard to miss in their first iteration. I haven’t used one personally yet, but I’m extremely excited for what they hold. One of the reasons I’m excited for them is that I think it will partially reverse the trend everyone decries where everyone pulls out their phone while sitting around with friends or otherwise engaging socially. This is a trend I think is overstated and not nearly as negative as it is made out to be, but I do see Google Glass making an impact. I also think that it’ll make the world a safer place overall, which is the real reason I’m excited for them.

Right now, my default behavior when I get a text or email outside of a class or a meeting is to pull out my phone and check who sent it and what it says. I almost always check it within a few minutes. And this behavior is fairly normal for my generation – and before anyone accuses me of being rude, I’ll point out that manners are socially constructed, so if my generation thinks it’s appropriate to check your phone during casual conversation, then it’s ok within the bounds of however we constructed it.

With Google Glass though, I can check everything just by glancing to my side. Imagine if I was able to immediately see the text was from my mom, or that it just said something simple like “Great, see you later.”  The act of glancing to my left is far less overt and allows me to return to the conversation even faster.

The reason I’m even more excited for Google Class however is because of how they will make the world a safer place. While everyone is nervous about the privacy issues they raise by potentially recording the world all the time, no one seems to think about the obvious safety benefit.

We’re quickly approaching a world where diseases are claiming fewer and fewer lives in developed countries, especially for individuals with healthy lifestyles. However even if we solved all these problems tomorrow, we’re all still potential victims of the harms caused by other people. This is incredibly apparent in the city of Chicago where I live today – crime is relatively high and murder is an unfortunate weekly normality.

Consider a crime a few months in the city not too far from where I live: a woman was biking home late at night when a van pulled up alongside her, partially crushed her between the van and some parked cars and stole her backpack, then sped away, and was never caught.

If she had Google Glass, she could have started recording the whole incident, including the van itself. In an ideal world, there’d be some panic phrase she could yell that would start recording everything and immediately upload it in real time to preserve it. Suddenly we would have video recording,with precise timestamps of many more crimes to people, which would probably create a large deterrent effect among the would-be criminals.

While a version of Google Glass that can do that reliably is still some time away, I believe it’ll be the next big change in evidence, up there on a scale with fingerprinting and DNA evidence.