Sunday, August 11, 2013

See what it does, then put it to work

Let’s be honest. Not all the buzz about Google Glass is good. That camera above the right eye—that’s just weird. “Can you really X-ray my purse?”

The reality is that Glass is monumentally less damaging to privacy than most smartphones at this point. People, though, are used to phones with cameras, while this—it’s an invasion of privacy.

Chris F. was told Glass wasn’t allowed when he entered a store in downtown Grand Rapids. “The kid working there seemed really surprised and super nervous about telling me they were not allowed,” he said.

With edginess like that, it’s time to explain. “After showing him that he could clearly see if I was recording by looking at the [eyepiece] prism, he dropped the subject and we continued on with our business.”

A restaurant manager asked Brian K. to take off his Glass. Brian pushed back: “I asked if she could disable the security cameras while I was in there, as it only seemed fair. She told me that turning off her cameras wasn’t an option she wanted to discuss.”

He switched his approach to one of informing and offered to show her everything that Glass could do besides video, even attracting people who may be in the neighborhood near her restaurant. “She was amazed,” Brian reported. “I think I am now her favorite customer.”

It wasn’t just a place of business but his own employer where Jared H. faced apprehension. “Some co-workers tried to prevent me from wearing them at work altogether. Luckily, one of my co-workers took up the cause and politely explained they were no different than a smartphone, and smartphones were perfectly fine to have at the office,” he recounted.

It’s logical that people who have seen impressive photos and video taken with Glass could think that’s what it exists to do: video surveillance. Right now, one by one, Glass wearers are disproving that concern. Next step: Make it easy to share information at work with wearable computing. That will really catch people’s attention about Glass on the job.

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