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Google Glasses

To boldly go where no one has gone before: Google Glass’ pressing issues

Google Glass debuted to enormous fanfare with that product demo, it also recently appeared on the catwalk as Google goes about showing how the technology can be applied.

Graeme Lipschitz: Columnist
Graeme Lipschitz is the co-founder of digital innovation agency Wonderland Works where he heads up Social Media, Search and Product Development. He was previously the business development... More

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For example, as a surfer who wants to broadcast what it’s like out there, a waterproof version of Glass will allow me to go into the water, take photos and videos, as well as tweet about the experience. Companies like GoPro had better watch out as we’ve seen that wearable tech is already a massive market.

What we haven’t thought about yet, though, is how this technology is going to challenge notions of privacy, user safety and real world scenarios. Let’s look at a few pressing issues:

Privacy: Being filmed isn’t for everyone. Usually when the camera comes out, the intended subject can opt in or out of being filmed. It’s their right. In the case of Google Glass however, the camera is always out and it has the potential to be always-on. People, whether they like it or not, are going to be caught on camera (and shared on YouTube) more than ever.

User safety: Despite the convenience of not having to take it out of one’s pocket, wearable technology still requires one’s attention. It’s all fine and dandy broadcasting your skydive, but when that attention deficit leads to some potentially life-threatening situations in which a Google Glass user is driving as well as posting to Google+ at the same time, things could get quite hairy quite quickly.

Is it outrageous to consider what kind of effect this ubiquitous technology is going to have on legal frameworks around the globe? The Internet has users more connected than ever, yet it can be said that it has us connecting more with those that aren’t present and ignoring those who are.

Google Glass is set to ignore the former and underscore the latter, to what effect?